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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Super Heavy/Starship (BFR/BFS) - Earth to Deep Space => Topic started by: Dave G on 10/01/2017 01:07 pm

Title: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/01/2017 01:07 pm
Here's a quote from Elon Musk:

Quote
...the current Falcon 9 rocket is something that can be manufactured in California and road transported.  In fact, I set the design diameter and dimensions of the rocket to be the maximum road transportable object, without requiring the lifting of power lines and that kind of thing. So it's roughly 13 feet in diameter and about 140 feet long for the first stage...

But as we go to future rockets that are bigger than that, we would actually do the manufacturing at the launch site, or near the launch site, because otherwise the road transportation logistics become... Essentially you'd either have to put it on a big ship or build it near the launch site.  The logical thing is to build it near the launch site.  So that is something that would occur where ever this launch site occurs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=64&v=3_iu75TFgX8

So knowing these issues, there are at least 4 possibilities:
1) Elon has changed his mind and will build BFR at Hawthorne.
2) To keep BFR production relatively close to Hawthorne, they could lease manufacturing space at an L.A. seaport.
3) They could build BFR at some other seaport.
4) They could build BFR very close to the launch site.

For 1) above, the main issue is how to get BFR from Hawthorne to a sea port.  Some have mentioned the Space Shuttle External Tank's journey to the L.A. museum as an example of how this could be done, but that was a one-off, more like a parade, and it required closing L.A. streets for 18 hours (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-shuttle-tank-20160303-story.html).  I doubt the public would support something like that on an ongoing basis.  Also, BFR's diameter is 2 feet larger than the Shuttle External Tank, and the BFR ship's delta wings make it event wider. I welcome any insight on how this option could be made viable.

For option 2), the main issue is cost.  Manufacturing space along any seaport near L.A. would probably be very expensive.  Labor and taxes would also be much higher than other locations.

Option 3) opens things up a lot.  They could use Michoud. Or they could use the Brownsville seaport.

For option 4), the question is: Where will the first launch site be?  And will it be near a sea port?

In any case, my assumption is that any BFR sub-component that can be road transported will continue to be built in Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically anything less than 4 meters tall.  And since most of the complicated stuff is less than 4 meters tall, I'd say the majority of BFR manufacturing will be in Hawthorne regardless.

So any other BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do final assembly.

Comments welcome.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Ludus on 10/01/2017 03:34 pm
http://spacenews.com/russian-aviation-company-to-acquire-sea-launch/ (http://spacenews.com/russian-aviation-company-to-acquire-sea-launch/)

Make a deal to put up a SpaceX building here? Just space to move manufacturing for tanks and final assembly near enough to Hawthorne that employees can work in both places without relocating, that permits direct loading onto ocean going ships.

It’s not real spacious but may be enough room. Same biz so should be few rules conflicts. Having a Russian landlord would cause some fuss.

The entire sale including the launch platform and ship seems to have been $150M.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: hms hexapuma on 10/02/2017 06:02 am
Would it not make sense to consolidate manufacturing of the larger parts, and final assembly, at Boca Chica?
The advantages there are:
- room to grow.
- ease of transport if final assembly co located with launch facilities (by barge if the assembly is done at a nearby location, IE: Brownsville). Michoud is another possibility but until SLS dies NASA has first dibs.
- ability to build assembly building(s) that could accommodate future iterations (BFR 1.0?).
- refits of flown stages done within miles of landing pads, again no transport headaches or delays.

Most of the above would be true if final assembly was at the Cape. However SpaceX will totally control the launch manifest and range at Boca, which is a strong incentive to consolidate there.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/02/2017 12:15 pm
Would it not make sense to consolidate manufacturing of the larger parts, and final assembly, at Boca Chica?
The advantages there are:
- room to grow
- ease of transport...
- ... future iterations...
- refits of flown stages...

All true, but I think the biggest advantage would be lower cost.

When I first considered Brownsville as a possible site to build BFR, I sort of dismissed it.  But after looking more, it may be a perfect fit.

If they build BFR along the Brownsville shipping channel, they could also ship it to any other launch site in the world. The Port of Brownsville (http://www.portofbrownsville.com/) is world class, and regularly hosts aircraft carriers, oil drilling rigs, and huge container ships, so shipping something the size of BFR would be no issue.

There's plenty of undeveloped dirt-cheap land along the shipping channel (https://www.google.com/maps/@25.967445,-97.3363862,4670m/data=!3m1!1e3), and taxes are also dirt-cheap.

And Brownsville isn't the middle of nowhere.  With a population of nearly 200,000, a state university (http://www.utrgv.edu/orientation/getting-here/brownsville/index.htm), and an international airport (http://www.flybrownsville.com/), Brownsville is a reasonably sized city.  If you want night-life, South Padre Island (http://ustraveler.com.mx/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Aerial-2013-version3.jpeg) is a hugely popular resort area just 25 minutes from Brownsville.

But the main thing - cost of living in Brownsville is one of the lowest in the nation. To really understand what this means, I'll repeat part of an earlier post from Nomadd (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1710374#msg1710374).

Here's what you can get for $230K in Brownsville:
(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43026.0;attach=1441588;image)

and here's what you can get for $700K in Hawthorne:
(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43026.0;attach=1441590;image)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: geza on 10/02/2017 12:51 pm
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Ludus on 10/02/2017 02:25 pm
Setting up an annex at a port within commuting distance of Hawthorne is a very different thing from trying to pivot to production of an entirely new rocket at the same time as moving a big chunk of the production process out of state.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/02/2017 03:55 pm
Setting up an annex at a port within commuting distance of Hawthorne is a very different thing from trying to pivot to production of an entirely new rocket at the same time as moving a big chunk of the production process out of state.

Agreed.  That's definitely an issue.

But leasing an annex at a port within commuting distance of Hawthorne is also a costly solution long-term.

So maybe they'll start building BFR at a port near Hawthorne, and then after the they get BFR working, they could move it somewhere else.

Again, I'm assuming that any BFR sub-component that can be road transported will continue to be built in Hawthorne, so any other BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do final assembly.

It'll be interesting to see how this all works out.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: philw1776 on 10/02/2017 04:18 pm
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

Exactly!

folks need to remember that a key SpaceX culture is co-location of R&D with manufacturing.  As someone who ran R&D and put products into manufacturing I have experienced the benefits of co-location and the inefficiencies and developer disconnect with remote manufacturing..  Co-location offers efficient, quick problem resolution, and design in level appreciation of mfg issues by otherwise potentially ivory towerish new product developers.  I don't see CA developers moving to Boca or Michoud, no matter how much less expensive the Real Estate.

I do remain open to the possibility of SpaceX leasing expensive harbor proximate facilities within easy commute distance of present Hawthorne facilities where the engines, electronics, etc. are finally mated and integrated with the airframe/tankage before shipment to Boca and Canaveral.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: geza on 10/03/2017 06:05 am
Remember also the main point of Elon's lecture: the canibalism thing. They wil convert the whole company to a BFR factory. Then? Will the Hawthorne floors remain empty? Will they produce only the engines and other subsytems there?

I am sure that BFR will be produced in the existing facility at Hawthorne initially. The initial rate of production will not be higher that a few SCs per year. Maybe 2? This is 10 in 5 years, e.g. between 2020-24. Elon want to send 6 of them to Mars by '24, 4 are for testing and satellite launching purposes. Later, when they have to produce more, they have to relocate production, of course. Maybe, it will be a BFR v. 2.0, which will be constrained by the 9 m no longer.

Is it physically possible to transport a 9 m wide vechicle from the company headquarters to the nearest port? If it is so, then it is necessary to close the segments of the route for a few minutes, few times a year. Probably during night.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: philw1776 on 10/03/2017 11:36 am
Remember also the main point of Elon's lecture: the canibalism thing. They wil convert the whole company to a BFR factory. Then? Will the Hawthorne floors remain empty? Will they produce only the engines and other subsytems there?

I am sure that BFR will be produced in the existing facility at Hawthorne initially. The initial rate of production will not be higher that a few SCs per year. Maybe 2? This is 10 in 5 years, e.g. between 2020-24. Elon want to send 6 of them to Mars by '24, 4 are for testing and satellite launching purposes. Later, when they have to produce more, they have to relocate production, of course. Maybe, it will be a BFR v. 2.0, which will be constrained by the 9 m no longer.

Is it physically possible to transport a 9 m wide vechicle from the company headquarters to the nearest port? If it is so, then it is necessary to close the segments of the route for a few minutes, few times a year. Probably during night.

Posters here have cited the Shuttle precedent for such a route. If/when SpaceX does this, I agree with those who speculate that SpaceX will pay for permanent relocation of overhead power lines, etc. along the route to facilitate late night traverses to the harbor.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 12:53 pm
Posters here have cited the Shuttle precedent for such a route. If/when SpaceX does this, I agree with those who speculate that SpaceX will pay for permanent relocation of overhead power lines, etc. along the route to facilitate late night traverses to the harbor.

Shuttle External Tank and BFR/BFS shown approximately to scale below.

By the way, to transport the shuttle itself, they also had to cut down some trees to make room for the shuttle's wings.  The delta wings on BFS may have the same issue.

And again, they had to close streets in L.A. for 18 hours to transport the shuttle external tank.

More info on what it took for the shuttle and external tank here (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-shuttle-tank-20160303-story.html).
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: DanielW on 10/03/2017 02:11 pm
Co-locating production and engineering is huge, but mostly during the development phase. SpaceX has two options to maintain that relationship.

1) Move Falcon9 production to a nearby facility to free up the main building for development of of BFR.
2) Move Engineering to a new facility.

I have no personal experience in how difficult either of these operations are. But I would go with #1 and slowly move mature F9 processes to another facility in or near Hawthorne. I would think that tank welding would be the low hanging fruit to gain floor space and should be, by now the most mature process.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 02:35 pm
1) Move Falcon9 production to a nearby facility to free up the main building for development of of BFR.

Again, how does it get to the launch pad?

The picture below is an info graphic showing how difficult it was to move the shuttle external tank (http://www.latimes.com/visuals/graphics/la-g-space-shuttles-external-tank-comes-to-la-20160226-htmlstory.html).

Now imagine how difficult it would be for BFR, which is 50 feet longer and 2 feet wider than the shuttle external tank. 

Or for BFS, which is about the same length as the shuttle external tank, but 2 feet larger in diameter, plus the added width of the delta wings.

I just don't see how it will work.

2) Move Engineering to a new facility.

Presumably located on a sea port.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/03/2017 02:45 pm
Perhaps subcomponents of the new system will begin being built and tested at Hawthorne while production of Falcon 9 components is slowed down. The final ships and boosters will then be assembled somewhere close to a port. For example, the goal of beginning the first booster by next spring could be met simply by beginning the production of Raptor engines alongside lowering the production of Merlin Engines.

Or SpaceX might "cannibalize" its internal products by simply laying off workers on the Falcon 9/Dragon production lines as production of those vehicles slows with frequent reuse. Also the transition to composites will mean they need less employees skilled in the manufacturing techniques associated with metals.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lar on 10/03/2017 02:47 pm
The flow if tanks are moved becomes a rather complex ballet that has to be choreographed carefully. This is not rocket science, all the big carmakers do this with the myriad parts that comprise a vehicle... body stamping and painting and final assembly may  be three different places. But it has to be thought through.

The problem I see with building in Brownsville is how do you get the vehicle to the other side of the channel to Boca Chica. You can't barge it as you can't build barge docks, it's wetlands. So you have to road transport it. Meaning you may have clearance problems you need to work through. But everything's bigger in Texas so it may be less of a problem.

We have had other threads that discussed this.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/03/2017 02:56 pm
The BFS as shown has a wingspan of about 13.5 meters, compared to the Shuttle at 23.8 meters.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 03:10 pm
The problem I see with building in Brownsville is how do you get the vehicle to the other side of the channel to Boca Chica. You can't barge it as you can't build barge docks, it's wetlands. So you have to road transport it. Meaning you may have clearance problems you need to work through. But everything's bigger in Texas so it may be less of a problem.

We have had other threads that discussed this.

Right.  SpaceX could build a new ~1-mile stretch of road that connects the frontage road along the Brownsville seaport to Hwy 4. The picture below shows a possible route.  The good news is that this is all undeveloped, wide open land.  No telephone poles or traffic lights along the route.

But again, the main issue is that the development engineers in Hawthorne would be physically separated from the people who build the large structures and do the final assembly.  In other words, it would require a lot of travel for the development engineers.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 03:39 pm
The BFS as shown has a wingspan of about 13.5 meters, compared to the Shuttle at 23.8 meters.

Yes, but the shuttle itself was crazy difficult to move.  They had to cut down trees and do a lot of other radical things to make it possible, as shown in the video (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-shuttle-tank-20160303-story.html) screen-shot below.  I seriously doubt there would be public support for SpaceX to do this on an ongoing basis.

There's a big difference between possible and practical.

The shuttle external tank move was less radical, so some have proposed this as a precedent for moving BFR/BFS, but BFR and BFS are both significantly larger than the shuttle external tank.

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: dlapine on 10/03/2017 03:52 pm
Isn't the transport of the BFR only a concern until it reaches the first pad? After that, it appears that the plan is to fly it to any remote launching/landing site, much like a 747. Perhaps the question of where it gets built simply depends on where the first launch site will be. There's little reason to think that these would be built at more than one location any time soon.

I'm not ignoring that first move, but if it's really a one time thing per vehicle, it may not prove to be traumatic.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lar on 10/03/2017 04:03 pm
I suspect the first N (small integer) are built in Hawthorne. Someone posted a pic on some thread of a doorway showing that the BFS fits, with wings intact, through that particular Hawthorne door.

Elon may have to use his charm (ha!) to get approval for N one time moves... but this means the development engineers are close to their new babies.

Over time a new factory gets built in Brownsville, along with roadway improvements the way Dave G outlines. And starts cranking out 1000 copies (-N) ... as things ramp up. By the time this happens, engineering may not need to be QUITE so personally involved. And some engineers may have been hired to be in TX as well...

That's my current best guess based on the thinking in this thread and elsewhere.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RotoSequence on 10/03/2017 04:09 pm
The BFR is meant to point up while being supported from below, so they could probably put it down on its engines and temporarily remove power lines and traffic lights.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/03/2017 04:10 pm
The BFS as shown has a wingspan of about 13.5 meters, compared to the Shuttle at 23.8 meters.

Yes, but the shuttle itself was crazy difficult to move.  They had to cut down trees and do a lot of other radical things to make it possible, as shown in the video (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-shuttle-tank-20160303-story.html) screen-shot below.  I seriously doubt there would be public support for SpaceX to do this on an ongoing basis.

There's a big difference between possible and practical.

The shuttle external tank move was less radical, so some have proposed this as a precedent for moving BFR/BFS, but BFR and BFS are both significantly larger than the shuttle external tank.

Yes, I've seen the video. But it's a lot easier to find a path for a 44 foot wingspan than for 78 feet.

I don't think it's ideal long term, but I believe it's feasible for the first dozen or so vehicles.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: kaoru on 10/03/2017 04:20 pm
Given that Elon said that tooling has already been ordered, this assumes that manufacturing space has been already been allocated/planned for.  Since the majority of the BFR/BFS structure is carbon fibre which I assume the ordered tooling is for, is it possible that where they constructed the 12m test tank be the same place for building BFR/BFS tankage?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 04:45 pm
... is it possible that where they constructed the 12m test tank be the same place for building BFR/BFS tankage?

Watching this video, it seems they built the 12m test tank right next to a sea port.  Anyone know where?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOTb9Zmul_U

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RotoSequence on 10/03/2017 04:51 pm
Watching this video, it seems they built the 12m test tank right next to a sea port.  Anyone know where?

The 12 meter tank was contracted to Janicki Industries (https://www.google.com/maps?q=Janicki+Industries+Washington&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfpMqy9NTWAhUK0mMKHd_WAYEQ_AUICygC) in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. They're a composites layup specialist. SpaceX will have a learning curve building these tanks in-house.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: John Alan on 10/03/2017 05:20 pm
My speculation (we need much more info from SpX to clarify many things)

The "tooling" ordered at this point is to build the BFS (not booster) tank assy... in my opinion...  ;)
IOW the back half of the top stage... to include the 6 Raptor engine mounts...
They REALLY need to build just this... stand it up somewhere with 6 SL Raptors installed and test fire it... ALOT...
Just this... will show if this project has a prayer of going anywhere...

Follow that with a BFS flyable sub orbital test mule... Outer Mold Line at production intent...
Take that somewhere and start doing hops to work out all the landing kinks...
Start with the two center engines and just the header tanks having prop... Grasshopper BFR style...
Install mass simulators where the other 4 Raptors go
Maybe a water tank based mass simulator (easily adjusted) in the nose section...
I'd suggest a small trench in a pad as the takeoff point with a flat landing pad nearby... use the landing legs...
Work toward using just the trenched pad for both TO and Landing... (IOW accurate and correct rotation)
Demo twin AND single engine landings...

Next construct a launch mount that will let you launch BFS with 6 SL Raptors and partial main tanks
It's too heavy w/full tanks to fly on 6 engines)... this may even be the 3rd unit built...
Use this Grasshopper BFR 2.0 to make suborbital hops... land back on the two engine trenched pad
Really fly the crap out this to work out the return from just after reentry... thru flip and powered decent...

NOW... I said all that to point out that this all seems doable building in Hawthorne only...
And even the production BFS's can come from there... Until build volume reaches some level...
Booster... heck no... got to be elsewhere... SL Raptors sure... components sure...
Booster tanks and Booster final assy... no way

So that is the question needs answered here in this thread... where is that Booster plant...
TBD at this point...  ;)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: JBF on 10/03/2017 05:22 pm
It could also only be the tooling for the engines.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Oersted on 10/03/2017 05:28 pm
Musk built a huge Gigafactory for Tesla. I am sure he has the drive to put the BFR final assembly plant where needed. A lot of sub-assembly and rocket engine production will remain in Hawthorne because Southern California is where you can hire a lot of great engineers.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: x15_fan on 10/03/2017 05:33 pm
For comparison this is how A380s sub-assemblies make it through the French countryside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbSrH0ePF_k

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/03/2017 05:50 pm
Exactly!

folks need to remember that a key SpaceX culture is co-location of R&D with manufacturing.  As someone who ran R&D and put products into manufacturing I have experienced the benefits of co-location and the inefficiencies and developer disconnect with remote manufacturing..  Co-location offers efficient, quick problem resolution, and design in level appreciation of mfg issues by otherwise potentially ivory towerish new product developers.

A manufacturing brother in arms! Not many of us here.

Completely agree. My background is in manufacturing operations, both for new products and sustaining products, and I too have witnessed where being able to have the design engineers walk down to the production floor to address issues has been a big time saver.

Quote
I don't see CA developers moving to Boca or Michoud, no matter how much less expensive the Real Estate.

There is the possibility that they could transition the 9m BFR to remote production facility after it has been proven to be buildable in Hawthorne. But SpaceX would be a large presence no matter where they go, so it would be a long-term commitment for everyone.

Quote
I do remain open to the possibility of SpaceX leasing expensive harbor proximate facilities within easy commute distance of present Hawthorne facilities...

Seems like a good interim solution.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/03/2017 06:13 pm
Shuttle External Tank and BFR/BFS shown approximately to scale below.

That's not the BRF/ITS that SpaceX is building first. They are building the 9m diameter version (~30ft).

Quote
By the way, to transport the shuttle itself, they also had to cut down some trees to make room for the shuttle's wings.  The delta wings on BFS may have the same issue.

And again, they had to close streets in L.A. for 18 hours to transport the shuttle external tank.

Not every street, and not every street on the route at the same time. Plus they were going through an area of L.A. that is more urban - there are more large streets on the route to SpaceX.

I don't think it will be a big issue, and apparently neither does Elon Musk.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: garcianc on 10/03/2017 06:19 pm
It will be built in Hawthorne then transported through the tunnel system he is creating with the Boring Company.  I was there last week and the boring machine was nowhere to be seen.  It hand been sitting in the parking lot and now it has gone underground.

I was just about to post the same thing, but decided to check something... the machine that The Boring Co bought is 29ft (~7.9m) in diameter per the following article: https://electrek.co/2017/04/27/elon-musk-tunnel-boring-machine-spacex-first-image/ (https://electrek.co/2017/04/27/elon-musk-tunnel-boring-machine-spacex-first-image/). Once you add the lining, floor, infrastructure, etc. to the tunnel, there won't be room for much more than standard road traffic. They would need a larger diameter machine.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/03/2017 06:29 pm
Shuttle External Tank and BFR/BFS shown approximately to scale below.

That's not the BRF/ITS that SpaceX is building first. They are building the 9m diameter version (~30ft).

Quote
By the way, to transport the shuttle itself, they also had to cut down some trees to make room for the shuttle's wings.  The delta wings on BFS may have the same issue.

And again, they had to close streets in L.A. for 18 hours to transport the shuttle external tank.

Not every street, and not every street on the route at the same time. Plus they were going through an area of L.A. that is more urban - there are more large streets on the route to SpaceX.

I don't think it will be a big issue, and apparently neither does Elon Musk.

Check the image again, that is the 2017 BFR.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: wannamoonbase on 10/03/2017 06:41 pm
Given that Elon said that tooling has already been ordered, this assumes that manufacturing space has been already been allocated/planned for.  Since the majority of the BFR/BFS structure is carbon fibre which I assume the ordered tooling is for, is it possible that where they constructed the 12m test tank be the same place for building BFR/BFS tankage?

For all we know, the tooling order is for the header tanks or for a test vessel/tank.  Namely the domes or common bulk head.  (I wonder if the header tanks would be about the size needed for a Raptor powered F9 US?)

The over all design won't be developed enough yet for a lot of the BFS.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 07:58 pm
Shuttle External Tank and BFR/BFS shown approximately to scale below.

That's not the BRF/ITS that SpaceX is building first. They are building the 9m diameter version (~30ft).

That's the 9m BFR / BFS version, taken from Musk's latest presentation on September 29, 2017 (http://spaceflight101.com/spx/iac-2017-spacex-slides/).  Look at the dimensions on the picture. These were all taken from the latest presentation.

I don't think it will be a big issue, and apparently neither does Elon Musk.

Musk is on record saying BFR will be built at the launch site.  See post #1 on this thread  (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43871.msg1729944#msg1729944)for details.

Of course, he could have changed his mind since then, or he may have a phased approach, hence all the speculation on this thread.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RoboGoofers on 10/03/2017 07:59 pm
Might they just budget $x millions to buy up problem properties along the route? They throw away $5 million fairings; That kind of money would buy a lot of real estate. Fairings are a necessary expense, but so is getting the rocket to the launch pad.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 08:18 pm
Might they just budget $x millions to buy up problem properties along the route? They throw away $5 million fairings; That kind of money would buy a lot of real estate. Fairings are a necessary expense, but so is getting the rocket to the launch pad.

SpaceX is all about reducing costs wherever practical.  They wouldn't spend millions on something that wasn't required to achieve their goals.

Also, if I remember correctly, on the last F9 flight they tried to recover the fairing.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/03/2017 09:49 pm
That's not the BRF/ITS that SpaceX is building first. They are building the 9m diameter version (~30ft).

That's the 9m BFR / BFS version, taken from Musk's latest presentation on September 29, 2017 (http://spaceflight101.com/spx/iac-2017-spacex-slides/).  Look at the dimensions on the picture. These were all taken from the latest presentation.

My bad. Apologies all around to you and envy887 who also corrected me. Conversion error on my part I think.  :o

Quote
Musk is on record saying BFR will be built at the launch site.

Musk is also on record saying that they could build the 9m BFR & ITS at their existing factory - which presumes the Hawthorne one.

Quote
Of course, he could have changed his mind since then, or he may have a phased approach, hence all the speculation on this thread.

The 12m diameter BFR & ITS can't be built at their Hawthorne factory, so that obviously is what he was talking about.

For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
4. Turn right onto Hawthorne Blvd going North, which turns into South La Brea Ave
5. Turn left onto E Arbor Vitae Street, which turns into Westchester Parkway
* Now the BRF & ITS will be using part of the same route the Shuttle ET used, just in reverse
6. Turn right onto Loyola Blvd
7. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
8. Turn right onto Culver Blvd
9. Turn left onto CA-90 - going against the normal direction of traffic
10. Turn left onto Mindanao Way
11. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
12. Turn right onto Fiji Way
13. End at the CruiseMDR.com Dock 55 Landing

Lines and signs moved, and some tree trimming may be needed, but it looks doable.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: docmordrid on 10/03/2017 11:39 pm
Watching this video, it seems they built the 12m test tank right next to a sea port.  Anyone know where?

The 12 meter tank was contracted to Janicki Industries (https://www.google.com/maps?q=Janicki+Industries+Washington&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfpMqy9NTWAhUK0mMKHd_WAYEQ_AUICygC) in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. They're a composites layup specialist. SpaceX will have a learning curve building these tanks in-house.

Maybe not,

https://www.janicki.com/capabilities/composite-fabrication/

Quote
On-site Composite Fabrication

JI’s expert composite fabrication team is available for contract work at your facility.
Experienced production teams
Foam, putty, carbon fiber, carbon-chop, fiberglass
Resin infusion, lay-up, finishing
Time and cost savings NO hiring and training for your company
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/03/2017 11:44 pm
It will be built at SpaceX's Hawthorne campus (which they keep expanding slowly). Can we close this thread, now?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/04/2017 02:33 am
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
4. Turn right onto Hawthorne Blvd going North, which turns into South La Brea Ave
5. Turn left onto E Arbor Vitae Street, which turns into Westchester Parkway
* Now the BRF & ITS will be using part of the same route the Shuttle ET used, just in reverse
6. Turn right onto Loyola Blvd
7. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
8. Turn right onto Culver Blvd
9. Turn left onto CA-90 - going against the normal direction of traffic
10. Turn left onto Mindanao Way
11. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
12. Turn right onto Fiji Way
13. End at the CruiseMDR.com Dock 55 Landing

Lines and signs moved, and some tree trimming may be needed, but it looks doable.

I don't see how they can make the first turn.  I've shown BFR (booster) to scale as the white box on the image below.

Again, this is the 9m diameter version from the latest presentation. But still, at 30 feet diameter and over 200 feet long, the thing is huge.

Also, removing traffic lights and lifting power lines isn't cheap.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/04/2017 02:35 am
Jack it up higher.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Zed_Noir on 10/04/2017 02:41 am
....
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
4. Turn right onto Hawthorne Blvd going North, which turns into South La Brea Ave
5. Turn left onto E Arbor Vitae Street, which turns into Westchester Parkway
* Now the BRF & ITS will be using part of the same route the Shuttle ET used, just in reverse
6. Turn right onto Loyola Blvd
7. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
8. Turn right onto Culver Blvd
9. Turn left onto CA-90 - going against the normal direction of traffic
10. Turn left onto Mindanao Way
11. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
12. Turn right onto Fiji Way
13. End at the CruiseMDR.com Dock 55 Landing

Lines and signs moved, and some tree trimming may be needed, but it looks doable.

Just like the Gerry Anderson TV show. Especially TB-3 moving along the taxi way with the tilting palm trees. Someone should do a P.O.V. overhead animation of the BFR transiting  @Coastal Ron's reverse scenic route.  8)
(reverse scenic == everyone staring at the BFR motoring at a walking pace.)  ;D
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/04/2017 02:44 am
Jack it up higher.

Above the traffic lights?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/04/2017 02:46 am
Jack it up higher.

Above the traffic lights?
No, remove the traffic light like they did for Shuttle. Jack up if there are things like 5 ft in the way.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/04/2017 03:19 am
remove the traffic light like they did for Shuttle.

They would need to remove a lot of traffic lights and power lines along that route.

Seems crazy expensive.

Just space to move manufacturing for tanks and final assembly near enough to Hawthorne that employees can work in both places without relocating, that permits direct loading onto ocean going ships.

Seems like a more cost effective solution to me.  The L.A. sea port is only 20 miles from Hawthorne.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/04/2017 03:21 am
remove the traffic light like they did for Shuttle.

They would need to remove a lot of traffic lights and power lines along that route.

Seems crazy expensive.

$3 million for moving the ET, including through the Panama Canal. Not too bad, all things considered. And the path is shorter than for the ET, and you could move multiple pieces at once, and if you did this regularly you could put stuff on hinges.

Not crazy.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: aero on 10/04/2017 03:46 am
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
4. Turn right onto Hawthorne Blvd going North, which turns into South La Brea Ave
5. Turn left onto E Arbor Vitae Street, which turns into Westchester Parkway
* Now the BRF & ITS will be using part of the same route the Shuttle ET used, just in reverse
6. Turn right onto Loyola Blvd
7. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
8. Turn right onto Culver Blvd
9. Turn left onto CA-90 - going against the normal direction of traffic
10. Turn left onto Mindanao Way
11. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
12. Turn right onto Fiji Way
13. End at the CruiseMDR.com Dock 55 Landing

Lines and signs moved, and some tree trimming may be needed, but it looks doable.

I don't see how they can make the first turn.  I've shown BFR (booster) to scale as the white box on the image below.

Again, this is the 9m diameter version from the latest presentation. But still, at 30 feet diameter and over 200 feet long, the thing is huge.

Also, removing traffic lights and lifting power lines isn't cheap.

It might be tricky, but I've seen 60 ft. long, 14 ft. wide mobile homes turn at a crossing of narrow two-lane roads. They can do the turn because they only have wheels in the middle of the mobile home so it pivots around the corner. The tail end does hang over the sidewalk though and the tractor pulling it gets to a configuration that looks like it jack-knifed but it works.

To apply this method to the BFR directly probably wouldn't work, but putting all but the center wheels of the BFR transport on casters might work. Then get rid of the tractor and make the transport self-powered to shorten the train. With geared steering and drive power applied to all of the castered wheels, I speculate that the transport could turn its load much more sharply than one might think at first blush.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/04/2017 03:59 am
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

This brings up an interesting question. Note that Elon says "our existing factories" (plural). 

Assuming this wasn't a typo, what are their existing factories?

Is he including factories for SpaceX sub-contractors, like Janicki Industries ?

Does SpaceX have any other facilities that may fall into this category?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: darkenfast on 10/04/2017 04:39 am
A couple of thoughts: 

I just took a piece of paper and took it around that turn onto 120th St shown in the photo above.  If the BFBooster is on a transporter with steerable wheels both ends and the transporter's wheelbase is shorter than the payload, it just works, assuming utility pole removal.

SpaceX has multiple buildings in Hawthorne.  We don't know which one the BFThing will come out of. 

Regarding the BFS itself, I would expect that the vehicle would be designed from the beginning to ship with the wings off.  They would be installed in the BFHIF (sorry, had to do it!).

Sometimes I wonder if they plan their statements to make it confusing: "Okay, you say "A" at your speech this week and I'll say "B" at my announcement next week.  Those NSF guys will be pulling their hair out!"
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/04/2017 04:39 am
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

what are their (SpaceX) existing factories?


see here:  https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1wvgFIPuOmI8da9EIB88tHo9vamo&hl
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/04/2017 05:41 am
I don't see how they can make the first turn.  I've shown BFR (booster) to scale as the white box on the image below.

Again, this is the 9m diameter version from the latest presentation. But still, at 30 feet diameter and over 200 feet long, the thing is huge.

Don't take my directions literally - the goal is to go West on 120th Street, but that can be done in more than one way.

Looking at that overhead image you'll notice the turn to the left (West) has a sharper corner than the other side of the intersection. Which means the stage could be moved through the intersection, and then reverse and make a turn to the right onto W 120th Street.

Quote
Also, removing traffic lights and lifting power lines isn't cheap.

Let's keep perspective here - new factories cost more to build than it would cost to move signs and trees...  ;)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/04/2017 01:23 pm
Sometimes I wonder if they plan their statements to make it confusing: "Okay, you say "A" at your speech this week and I'll say "B" at my announcement next week.  Those NSF guys will be pulling their hair out!"

LOL!

I just took a piece of paper and took it around that turn onto 120th St shown in the photo above.  If the BFBooster is on a transporter with steerable wheels both ends and the transporter's wheelbase is shorter than the payload, it just works, assuming utility pole removal.

Utility pole removal isn't cheap.

$3 million for moving the ET, including through the Panama Canal.

BFR is 50 feet longer than shuttle ET.  BFS is 17 feet wider than shuttle ET.  I suspect this will make it more expensive, perhaps around $5 million.

Let's keep perspective here - new factories cost more to build than it would cost to move signs and trees...  ;)

If they build BFR at the L.A. seaport, I'm assuming they would lease space at an existing building.

If they build BFR along the Brownsville shipping channel, where real estate prices are dirt-cheap, and construction labor is also relatively cheap, that could cost less than moving BFR/BFS though the streets of L.A.

Note: I'm assuming any BFR sub-component that can be easily road transported will continue to be built in Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically anything less than 4 meters tall.  And since most of the complicated stuff is less than 4 meters tall, I'd say the majority of BFR manufacturing will be in Hawthorne regardless.

So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/04/2017 02:48 pm
If they build BFR at the L.A. seaport, I'm assuming they would lease space at an existing building.

I think this is a possibility.

Quote
If they build BFR along the Brownsville shipping channel, where real estate prices are dirt-cheap, and construction labor is also relatively cheap, that could cost less than moving BFR/BFS though the streets of L.A.

Factories don't have to be complex, and you can take over an existing facility to speed up how quickly you can occupy a new factory. But finding people and getting everyone trained to the way you do manufacturing can take a while.

Moving power lines, road signs, and trimming trees can be done quickly and for less money. And if they plan to do it on a regular basis they cut the costs per trip over time. And not having to move personnel can be less disruptive on the Hawthorne factory.

Quote
So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.

Which is quite a bit. We're not talking about hiring a bunch of surfboard fiberglass layup guys, you need certified technicians, a small cadre of manufacturing engineers, quality control engineers and testing facilities, operations, procurement, inventory control, facilities, HR, and everyone else it takes for a well-running factory building human-rated transportation systems.

Hiring will take time, and so will training and certification. It obviously can be done of course, just pointing out that it's not something that happens in a month or two.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: nacnud on 10/04/2017 03:12 pm
Just to derail this thread a little, I just rewatched the presentation a quick quote.

"So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built, we will start construction the first ship around the second quarter of next year." -Elon Musk

I think that narrows down where it will be build to an existing SpaceX facility.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RoboGoofers on 10/04/2017 03:12 pm
I just took a piece of paper and took it around that turn onto 120th St shown in the photo above.  If the BFBooster is on a transporter with steerable wheels both ends and the transporter's wheelbase is shorter than the payload, it just works, assuming utility pole removal.

Utility pole removal isn't cheap.

I roughly estimate that a BFR/BFS is half a billion dollars, especially the first ones. Spending $5-10 million to be able to get it to a launch pad so they can start making money is the definition of the cost of doing business. Those costs will be paid for by the first launch.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/04/2017 04:57 pm
I just took a piece of paper and took it around that turn onto 120th St shown in the photo above.  If the BFBooster is on a transporter with steerable wheels both ends and the transporter's wheelbase is shorter than the payload, it just works, assuming utility pole removal.

Utility pole removal isn't cheap.

I roughly estimate that a BFR/BFS is half a billion dollars, especially the first ones. Spending $5-10 million to be able to get it to a launch pad so they can start making money is the definition of the cost of doing business. Those costs will be paid for by the first launch.

A lot of those are one-time costs. Power lines can be permanently raised. Signals and street lights can be hinged to move easily out of the way. If they have to cut trees, they won't grow back in 3 months when the next vehicle needs to be transported.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: starsilk on 10/04/2017 06:53 pm
Jack it up higher.

stand it on its tail, move it while vertical. why not?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lee Jay on 10/04/2017 07:12 pm
Is it physically possible to transport a 9 m wide vechicle from the company headquarters to the nearest port? If it is so, then it is necessary to close the segments of the route for a few minutes, few times a year. Probably during night.

It's easy.  Take it to the parking lot, turn it upright, fill it with fuel and oxidizer, and launch it.  It's not like the Hawthorne factory is surrounded on all sides by city or something.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 10/04/2017 10:44 pm
Watching this video, it seems they built the 12m test tank right next to a sea port.  Anyone know where?

The 12 meter tank was contracted to Janicki Industries (https://www.google.com/maps?q=Janicki+Industries+Washington&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfpMqy9NTWAhUK0mMKHd_WAYEQ_AUICygC) in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. They're a composites layup specialist. SpaceX will have a learning curve building these tanks in-house.

Maybe not,

https://www.janicki.com/capabilities/composite-fabrication/

Quote
On-site Composite Fabrication

JI’s expert composite fabrication team is available for contract work at your facility.
Experienced production teams
Foam, putty, carbon fiber, carbon-chop, fiberglass
Resin infusion, lay-up, finishing
Time and cost savings NO hiring and training for your company
There are some new positions open in the last few days at Janicki Industries, some requiring DOD clearance.
 
https://tinyurl.com/ycuyew3j
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/04/2017 11:01 pm
Unquestionably Janacki still is working with SpaceX.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/05/2017 01:04 am
Quote
So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.

Which is quite a bit...

Agreed.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/05/2017 01:14 am
Quote
So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.

Which is quite a bit...

Agreed.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
We already know, though. Gonna build them at existing factories, i.e. their Hawthorne campus.

If you think I'm wrong, I'll gladly take a wager.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/05/2017 01:49 am
Quote
So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.

Which is quite a bit...

Agreed.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
We already know, though. Gonna build them at existing factories, i.e. their Hawthorne campus.

If you think I'm wrong, I'll gladly take a wager.
I never bet money, but I do bet lunch.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RotoSequence on 10/05/2017 01:51 am
Watching this video, it seems they built the 12m test tank right next to a sea port.  Anyone know where?

The 12 meter tank was contracted to Janicki Industries (https://www.google.com/maps?q=Janicki+Industries+Washington&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfpMqy9NTWAhUK0mMKHd_WAYEQ_AUICygC) in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. They're a composites layup specialist. SpaceX will have a learning curve building these tanks in-house.

Maybe not,

https://www.janicki.com/capabilities/composite-fabrication/

Quote
On-site Composite Fabrication

JI’s expert composite fabrication team is available for contract work at your facility.
Experienced production teams
Foam, putty, carbon fiber, carbon-chop, fiberglass
Resin infusion, lay-up, finishing
Time and cost savings NO hiring and training for your company
There are some new positions open in the last few days at Janicki Industries, some requiring DOD clearance.
 
https://tinyurl.com/ycuyew3j

Janicki is one of the major subcontractors for the B-21 Raider. (https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2016/03/07/janicki-wins-boeing-loses-in-northrop-contracts.html)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/05/2017 01:58 am
Quote
So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.

Which is quite a bit...

Agreed.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
We already know, though. Gonna build them at existing factories, i.e. their Hawthorne campus.

If you think I'm wrong, I'll gladly take a wager.
I never bet money, but I do bet lunch.
Youre on! Must be redeemed in person, of course! :)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: wannamoonbase on 10/05/2017 02:35 am
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

This brings up an interesting question. Note that Elon says "our existing factories" (plural). 

Assuming this wasn't a typo, what are their existing factories?

Is he including factories for SpaceX sub-contractors, like Janicki Industries ?

Does SpaceX have any other facilities that may fall into this category?

I believe they have multiple buildings in Hawthorn. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: John Alan on 10/05/2017 03:03 am
I'm getting a gnaw in my gut... that SpaceX may farm out BFR Booster air frame Fab to a third party...  :o
USA owned and based of course...

Now to be clear... the bare carbon fiber air-frame... one piece... ~58 meters long by 9 meter diameter...
What...maybe 100 tonnes bare weight (wild guess of mine)

Speculate they will place a contract out next fall (or whenever initial booster design work completed)
Will be for tooling (to be SpaceX owned and deliverable on demand if contract broken or completed)
One load test air frame...
One static fire air frame...
Complete documentation how they built the first two...
Host a small group of on site SpaceX Inspectors/Engineers during fabrication..
Option to later have built more air-frames... pending load test and static fire results..
Built in supplier owned or leased facilities and delivered as specified to a place of SpaceX's choosing...

Now then... WHY... ???

Mainly because SpaceX does not have room early on with F9 S1 production still going on...  :-\
Also... booster air-frame production numbers may end up so low for the first 10 years... This way may be smarter...

To be clear... BFS spacecraft will start and likely stay in Hawthorne...
Booster final assy will be in a SpaceX Plant or Building  TBD... later at the first launch pad my guess...
And someday, if or when the time is right... they will relocate the tooling and fab in house somewhere.
Likely somewhere that is a green field at the moment... a launch site

Anyway... my 2 cents on sourcing this one key part number...  ;)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: groundbound on 10/05/2017 03:20 am
Youre on! Must be redeemed in person, of course! :)

I heard somewhere that there may be new, rapid, point-to-point transportation options for events like this.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/05/2017 03:40 am
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

This brings up an interesting question. Note that Elon says "our existing factories" (plural). 

Assuming this wasn't a typo, what are their existing factories?

Is he including factories for SpaceX sub-contractors, like Janicki Industries ?

Does SpaceX have any other facilities that may fall into this category?

I believe they have multiple buildings in Hawthorn. 

SpaceX has been in the process of leasing buildings in the nearby area including major footprints along Northrop Ave and adjacent properties within 1/2 mile.  They would not be doing this unless they are planning to do BFR somewhere else.

Also, I live in Marina del Rey and the Shuttle tank move through our area took hours and lot's of manpower with dozens of utility staff to move wires, lighting and signals.  It took almost 12 hours just to get from the dock to Westchester.  Ask Helodriver and others, who spent the entire night walking alongside.  The turn from Lincoln onto Culver Loop would be a challenge to move this vehicle through that short and curving stretch.

My bet is to follow the route taken by Emmert International took to move the "Levitated Mass" on nearby Western Ave down to the Harbor area (LA or Long Beach Harbors).  Following this route:  Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9196598,-118.3378367/33.7663333,-118.2616747/@33.8414113,-118.2518905,22818m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m39!4m38!1m35!3m4!1m2!1d-118.30903!2d33.9164481!3s0x80c2b5f04f876abb:0xdf6f338d4873ce47!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2556902!2d33.9163695!3s0x80c2ca4b86f88b73:0xefeaf4ac7ff0bb1b!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2485964!2d33.8471103!3s0x80dd34d93e888689:0x202730ae8345ab55!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2800816!2d33.8463219!3s0x80dd354902dbe9e1:0x6e200117c471eeca!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2799679!2d33.8432891!3s0x80dd35489dfb3227:0xc8d01aeb7f696aa0!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2780894!2d33.8316785!3s0x80dd356aee341b7f:0x54f17351e8ca85cf!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2637288!2d33.8315939!3s0x80dd351a06820ff7:0x5a658c7e9b0847b7!1m0!3e1)

http://www.trucktrend.com/features/163-1208-megalith-moving-a-340-ton-rock/
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lar on 10/05/2017 03:42 am
Youre on! Must be redeemed in person, of course! :)

I heard somewhere that there may be new, rapid, point-to-point transportation options for events like this.
Remember, there is a bet recording thread. One of you should put the bet there if serious, links to here probably sufficient rathre than explaining the whole thing again.

on the trafflc light and utility pole issue, while these things are not made from LEGO elements (in which case the vehicle knocks them over on the way through, then you put them back on your street baseplates and everyone's happy) they are not that expensive in the grand scheme of things. Route all lines either WAY up high or underground. Hinge all signs and poles. Yes, considerable investment. Once. But usable every time. The FIRST move might cost 5M USD but the next one would reuse the work done before and cost a LOT less.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Zed_Noir on 10/05/2017 04:24 am
Have a somewhat silly idea. Can the BFS be transported while vertical? If so, could transit @Coastal Ron's proposed route. Presuming the route does not go under overpasses. A 9 meter (30 feet)  by 9 meter footprint on the ground should not have any cornering issues.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/05/2017 04:55 am
SpaceX has been in the process of leasing buildings in the nearby area including major footprints along Northrup Ave...

It's "Northrop".

Quote
...and adjacent properties within 1/2 mile.  They would not be doing this unless they are planning to do BFR somewhere else.

Maybe your phrasing is off, because I think you meant to say that SpaceX leasing additional properties along Jack Northrop Ave could indicate that they plan to build the BFR somewhere around their existing Hawthorne facilities?

Quote
Also, I live in Marina del Rey and the Shuttle tank move through our area took hours and lot's of manpower with dozens of utility staff to move wires, lighting and signals.  It took almost 12 hours just to get from the dock to Westchester.  Ask Helodriver and others, who spent the entire night walking alongside.

Good historical data.

Something to consider is that the Shuttle External Tank was known to be a one-time event, so they must have figured that moving wires, lighting and signals once was least disruptive. If oversized items are going to be moved on a regular basis thru the streets, and SpaceX pays for the move modifications, then with preparation they could possibly move faster.

Quote
The turn from Lincoln onto Culver Loop would be a challenge to move this vehicle through that short and curving stretch.

Yeah, I saw that when I was suggesting the route. No doubt, it's tight.

Quote
My bet is to follow the route taken by Emmert International took to move the "Levitated Mass" on nearby Western Ave down to the Harbor area (LA or Long Beach Harbors).

That's a longer route, but if it's less complicated it might be better.

One thing is for sure, no matter which way they go it's going to be a spectacle!   :D
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/05/2017 05:06 am
SpaceX has been in the process of leasing buildings in the nearby area including major footprints along Northrup Ave...
Quote
It's "Northrop".

sorry..corrected, my wife worked there I should have double checked.

Quote
...and adjacent properties within 1/2 mile.  They would not be doing this unless they are planning to do BFR somewhere else.


Maybe your phrasing is off because I think you meant to say that SpaceX leasing additional properties along Jack Northrop Ave could indicate that they plan to build the BFR somewhere around their existing Hawthorne facilities?
I meant along Northrop Ave as well as some buildings south there within a 1/2 mile away.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jpo234 on 10/05/2017 12:16 pm
I had two ideas to get the booster out of the city:
1) vertical (like the F9 booster on the drone ship); already mentioned earlier in this thread
2) air lifting with a helicopter or a blimp. Assumption: The booster is designed for easy maintenance (quick turn around). This means the engines can be replaced at the pad, e.g. the booster could be transported without the engines installed. This could save about 30..40 tons. Is this enough to air lift the empty booster?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: CraigLieb on 10/05/2017 04:07 pm
This may be applicable how you get really long and large loads around corners. Still have to clear space.

http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/10/05/trailer-turning-scotland-wind-turbine-blade-sje-lon-orig.cnn
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/05/2017 04:09 pm
I had two ideas to get the booster out of the city:
1) vertical (like the F9 booster on the drone ship); already mentioned earlier in this thread
2) air lifting with a helicopter or a blimp. Assumption: The booster is designed for easy maintenance (quick turn around). This means the engines can be replaced at the pad, e.g. the booster could be transported without the engines installed. This could save about 30..40 tons. Is this enough to air lift the empty booster?

It's going to be 100+ tonnes even without the engines. Not really a viable airlift project.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jpo234 on 10/05/2017 04:44 pm


I had two ideas to get the booster out of the city:
1) vertical (like the F9 booster on the drone ship); already mentioned earlier in this thread
2) air lifting with a helicopter or a blimp. Assumption: The booster is designed for easy maintenance (quick turn around). This means the engines can be replaced at the pad, e.g. the booster could be transported without the engines installed. This could save about 30..40 tons. Is this enough to air lift the empty booster?

It's going to be 100+ tonnes even without the engines. Not really a viable airlift project.

Really that much? The ship, which I had assumed is denser (propellant tanks for landing, wings, thermal protection,...), will have a dry mass of 85 tonnes.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/05/2017 05:00 pm


I had two ideas to get the booster out of the city:
1) vertical (like the F9 booster on the drone ship); already mentioned earlier in this thread
2) air lifting with a helicopter or a blimp. Assumption: The booster is designed for easy maintenance (quick turn around). This means the engines can be replaced at the pad, e.g. the booster could be transported without the engines installed. This could save about 30..40 tons. Is this enough to air lift the empty booster?

It's going to be 100+ tonnes even without the engines. Not really a viable airlift project.

Really that much? The ship, which I had assumed is denser (propellant tanks for landing, wings, thermal protection,...), will have a dry mass of 85 tonnes.

The booster has ~3.5 times the tank volume of the ship, and pressure vessel mass scales with volume. And it has a much larger thrust structure. It should be in the 150 to 160 tonne range with engines, and probably about 125 tonnes without engines.

The S1-C was 95 tonnes without the engines, and the BFR booster has nearly twice the tank volume, thrust, and upper stage mass to carry.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/05/2017 09:59 pm
Quote
So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.

Which is quite a bit...

Agreed.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
We already know, though. Gonna build them at existing factories, i.e. their Hawthorne campus.

If you think I'm wrong, I'll gladly take a wager.
I never bet money, but I do bet lunch.
Youre on! Must be redeemed in person, of course! :)

If we see BFR rolling down the streets from Hawthone, I'll buy you lunch at a nice place (within reason), but I'm not going to fly to Minnesota.

If we see BFR launch without moving from Hawthone, you can buy me lunch.  I'm assuming you don't want to fly to Manhattan.


Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/05/2017 10:05 pm
Watching this video, it seems they built the 12m test tank right next to a sea port.  Anyone know where?

The 12 meter tank was contracted to Janicki Industries (https://www.google.com/maps?q=Janicki+Industries+Washington&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfpMqy9NTWAhUK0mMKHd_WAYEQ_AUICygC) in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. They're a composites layup specialist. SpaceX will have a learning curve building these tanks in-house.

Maybe not,

https://www.janicki.com/capabilities/composite-fabrication/

Quote
On-site Composite Fabrication

JI’s expert composite fabrication team is available for contract work at your facility.
Experienced production teams
Foam, putty, carbon fiber, carbon-chop, fiberglass
Resin infusion, lay-up, finishing
Time and cost savings NO hiring and training for your company
There are some new positions open in the last few days at Janicki Industries, some requiring DOD clearance.
 
https://tinyurl.com/ycuyew3j

Janicki is one of the major subcontractors for the B-21 Raider. (https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2016/03/07/janicki-wins-boeing-loses-in-northrop-contracts.html)

As I said earlier,  when Musk said:
"A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ..."

He may have been including factories for SpaceX subcontractors.  Note that Janicki seems to have ample manufacturing space next to a sea port...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: the_other_Doug on 10/06/2017 02:14 am
Hmmm... people are wondering really hard about how SpaceX plans to move BFR's and BFS's from the factory floor in the Hawthorne plant to the docks to be shipped to the launch sites.

And all this time, you're ignoring the fact that Elon Musk has purchased an enormous TBM tunneling machine, capable of creating tunnels much, much wider than nine meters, and has asked for permission to dig a big, wide tunnel... underneath his Hawthorne SpaceX facilities.

C'mon, guys -- y'all are usually a heck of a lot better at connecting the dots than this!  :D
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: biosehnsucht on 10/06/2017 03:16 am
It would be amusing if the TBM could be used to make a tunnel to transport the rocket stages, but that's not actually true (at least the one they bought is way too small, it is only 26 ft in diameter and you have to subtract from that the thickness of concrete panels to arrive at the finished usable diameter.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: the_other_Doug on 10/06/2017 03:32 am
It would be amusing if the TBM could be used to make a tunnel to transport the rocket stages, but that's not actually true (at least the one they bought is way too small, it is only 26 ft in diameter and you have to subtract from that the thickness of concrete panels to arrive at the finished usable diameter.

Oh, sure -- but, of course, Musk has stated that Godot is only the first TBM they are buying.  And it's digging the first test tunnels for his 125-mph electric skate concept.  You know, Hyperloop-lite.  (Can we, a la ITSy, call it Loopy?  ;) )

The most common diameter of a TBM-dug tunnel, out in the tunneling world, is about 8.5 meters.  Such a TBM is adaptable to a larger tunnel diameter, and indeed there are TBMs that dig 12-meter- and even 20-meter-wide tunnels.

I was mostly joking -- but to be honest, an underground passage would make a ton of sense.  It's not that far to the docks area, and would only need a building at the docks area big enough for the shaft down to the tunnel and the mega-elevator to bring the stages/ships and attached carrier wheel-trucks up.  Put the same type of thing at the Hawthorne end, to lower them down, and traffic problem solved...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: geza on 10/06/2017 05:01 am
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
Meanwhile from Reddit the new bridge between SpaceX building and the parking garage accross Crenshaw:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/74cizr/bfr_spoiler_spacex_unwrapped_the_new_bridge/
 (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/74cizr/bfr_spoiler_spacex_unwrapped_the_new_bridge/)
The bridge prevents BFR to go North from Jack Northrop Blvd to  W 120th Street in front of the SpX headquarter. However, AFIK, Falcon rockets exit the building on its North side, to Rocket Road, instead of on the South side, to Jack Northrop Blvd. And, Rocket Road is North of the bridge. So, keep the existing exit!

The trouble is that Rocket Road is narrow. As I measured on Google Map, it is just wide enough to accommodate the 9 m diameter - w/o the wings. The rocket cannot turn, when exiting Rocket Road. However, Rocket Road continues on the opposite side of Crenshaw. Turning to North onto Crenshaw is easy on that side, because of the parking place.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: QuantumG on 10/06/2017 05:06 am
I was under the impression they were taking over the Triumph Aerostructures building on the other end of Jack Northrop Ave, so wouldn't they go up Prairie Ave?


Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: freddo411 on 10/06/2017 05:29 am
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

This brings up an interesting question. Note that Elon says "our existing factories" (plural). 

Assuming this wasn't a typo, what are their existing factories?

Is he including factories for SpaceX sub-contractors, like Janicki Industries ?

Does SpaceX have any other facilities that may fall into this category?

I believe they have multiple buildings in Hawthorn. 

SpaceX has been in the process of leasing buildings in the nearby area including major footprints along Northrop Ave and adjacent properties within 1/2 mile.  They would not be doing this unless they are planning to do BFR somewhere else.

Also, I live in Marina del Rey and the Shuttle tank move through our area took hours and lot's of manpower with dozens of utility staff to move wires, lighting and signals.  It took almost 12 hours just to get from the dock to Westchester.  Ask Helodriver and others, who spent the entire night walking alongside.  The turn from Lincoln onto Culver Loop would be a challenge to move this vehicle through that short and curving stretch.

My bet is to follow the route taken by Emmert International took to move the "Levitated Mass" on nearby Western Ave down to the Harbor area (LA or Long Beach Harbors).  Following this route:  Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9196598,-118.3378367/33.7663333,-118.2616747/@33.8482308,-118.2874516,23602m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m49!4m48!1m45!3m4!1m2!1d-118.30903!2d33.9164481!3s0x80c2b5f04f876abb:0xdf6f338d4873ce47!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3090194!2d33.915686!3s0x80c2b5f04d9537e5:0xac419bb48fa58216!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3091561!2d33.8623178!3s0x80c2b55c9a786151:0x62d5c18b87f63a21!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3091595!2d33.8608618!3s0x80c2b55b6c2fd7d1:0x932e53dd7a016c4d!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2905397!2d33.8586155!3s0x80c2caae550f30eb:0xee14608a4e10c2f0!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2905312!2d33.8502435!3s0x80dd3552d8311e27:0xdff931c5a4417e8!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2902242!2d33.8429959!3s0x80dd355053c2fe45:0xa9d89374000a4218!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2902924!2d33.8321013!3s0x80dd355d0c7fc69f:0x58df9b0682f79e36!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2637288!2d33.8315939!3s0x80dd351a06820ff7:0x5a658c7e9b0847b7!1m0!3e1)

http://www.trucktrend.com/features/163-1208-megalith-moving-a-340-ton-rock/

That route goes under the 405.   Not going to work.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/06/2017 06:14 am
Posted by: freddo411
Quote
That route goes under the 405.   Not going to work.


I notice that this morning and relocated the track. I updated my original post (but the quoted re-posts doesn't carry it along), so here I've updated route here.  No overhead bridges.  Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9196598,-118.3378367/33.7663333,-118.2616747/@33.8414113,-118.2518905,22818m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m39!4m38!1m35!3m4!1m2!1d-118.30903!2d33.9164481!3s0x80c2b5f04f876abb:0xdf6f338d4873ce47!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2556902!2d33.9163695!3s0x80c2ca4b86f88b73:0xefeaf4ac7ff0bb1b!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2485964!2d33.8471103!3s0x80dd34d93e888689:0x202730ae8345ab55!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2800816!2d33.8463219!3s0x80dd354902dbe9e1:0x6e200117c471eeca!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2799679!2d33.8432891!3s0x80dd35489dfb3227:0xc8d01aeb7f696aa0!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2780894!2d33.8316785!3s0x80dd356aee341b7f:0x54f17351e8ca85cf!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2637288!2d33.8315939!3s0x80dd351a06820ff7:0x5a658c7e9b0847b7!1m0!3e1)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/06/2017 12:07 pm
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
Meanwhile from Reddit the new bridge between SpaceX building and the parking garage accross Crenshaw:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/74cizr/bfr_spoiler_spacex_unwrapped_the_new_bridge/
 (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/74cizr/bfr_spoiler_spacex_unwrapped_the_new_bridge/)
The bridge prevents BFR to go North from Jack Northrop Blvd to  W 120th Street in front of the SpX headquarter.

Right.  I think it's safe to say they're not going that route.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/06/2017 12:37 pm
Also, I live in Marina del Rey and the Shuttle tank move through our area took hours and lot's of manpower with dozens of utility staff to move wires, lighting and signals.  It took almost 12 hours just to get from the dock to Westchester.  Ask Helodriver and others, who spent the entire night walking alongside.  The turn from Lincoln onto Culver Loop would be a challenge to move this vehicle through that short and curving stretch.

My bet is to follow the route taken by Emmert International took to move the "Levitated Mass" on nearby Western Ave down to the Harbor area (LA or Long Beach Harbors).  Following this route:  Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9196598,-118.3378367/33.7663333,-118.2616747/@33.8482308,-118.2874516,23602m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m49!4m48!1m45!3m4!1m2!1d-118.30903!2d33.9164481!3s0x80c2b5f04f876abb:0xdf6f338d4873ce47!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3090194!2d33.915686!3s0x80c2b5f04d9537e5:0xac419bb48fa58216!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3091561!2d33.8623178!3s0x80c2b55c9a786151:0x62d5c18b87f63a21!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3091595!2d33.8608618!3s0x80c2b55b6c2fd7d1:0x932e53dd7a016c4d!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2905397!2d33.8586155!3s0x80c2caae550f30eb:0xee14608a4e10c2f0!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2905312!2d33.8502435!3s0x80dd3552d8311e27:0xdff931c5a4417e8!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2902242!2d33.8429959!3s0x80dd355053c2fe45:0xa9d89374000a4218!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2902924!2d33.8321013!3s0x80dd355d0c7fc69f:0x58df9b0682f79e36!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2637288!2d33.8315939!3s0x80dd351a06820ff7:0x5a658c7e9b0847b7!1m0!3e1)

http://www.trucktrend.com/features/163-1208-megalith-moving-a-340-ton-rock/

That route goes under the 405.   Not going to work.

If that weren't enough, remember that BFR is 50 feet longer than the shuttle external tank, which makes any turn much more difficult.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: DOCinCT on 10/06/2017 04:31 pm
The only reason the external tank and the orbiter were transported through the streets of LA area was to get them to the museum. The external tank was manufactured at the Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, and transported by barge to KSC. The orbiters were manufactured in Palmdale, CA and transported overland to  Edwards Air Force Base for air transport to KSC.
In his presentation, Elon said: "] So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built, we will start construction the first ship around the second quarter of next year. So in about six to nine months we should start building the first ship. "
He didn't say the facility was somewhere in Hawthorne, or that they were modifying the factory in Hawthorne.
Hawthorne is discussed only because Elon commented elsewhere that 9 meters is the widest size they could build in Hawthorne.
Personally I think you can build a 9 meter diameter the engine structure and mounted engines in Hawthorne and move it through the streets of LA without major disruption to infrastructure (and under the pedestrian bridge) to the port for transport to the actual core manufacturing facility. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Watchdog on 10/06/2017 05:38 pm
The problem I see with building in Brownsville is how do you get the vehicle to the other side of the channel to Boca Chica. You can't barge it as you can't build barge docks, it's wetlands. So you have to road transport it. Meaning you may have clearance problems you need to work through. But everything's bigger in Texas so it may be less of a problem.

We have had other threads that discussed this.

Right.  SpaceX could build a new ~1-mile stretch of road that connects the frontage road along the Brownsville seaport to Hwy 4. The picture below shows a possible route.  The good news is that this is all undeveloped, wide open land.  No telephone poles or traffic lights along the route.

But again, the main issue is that the development engineers in Hawthorne would be physically separated from the people who build the large structures and do the final assembly.  In other words, it would require a lot of travel for the development engineers.

Is it possible to use a Zeppelin for short distance transport of the BFR second stage? There are modern cargo lifter in development: Lockheed was planning an air vehicle with 90 metric tons of maximum payload. The first stage, however, might be too heavy to be transported this way, but maybe in parts and components to be integrated at the port...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/06/2017 06:20 pm
Personally I think you can build a 9 meter diameter the engine structure and mounted engines in Hawthorne and move it through the streets of LA without major disruption to infrastructure (and under the pedestrian bridge) to the port for transport to the actual core manufacturing facility.

My opinion: There's no question that SpaceX will continue to build most of the sub-assemblies for BFR at Hawthorne.

That could scale to the full engine cluster, which would certainly be easier to move through streets  than the whole BFR, so that's a possibility.

Or it could just be the raptor engines that are built in Hawthorne.

In any case, if they have another site for building BFR, I'm assuming it would only be to build the large structures and do final assembly.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Patchouli on 10/06/2017 06:30 pm

Is it possible to use a Zeppelin for short distance transport of the BFR second stage? There are modern cargo lifter in development: Lockheed was planning an air vehicle with 90 metric tons of maximum payload. The first stage, however, might be too heavy to be transported this way, but maybe in parts and components to be integrated at the port...

90 tons would left any major sub assembly of BFR such as a propellant tank and a complete spaceship with no fuel.
I was thinking they could piggy back the parts on a 747 or AN225 but the nearby airport appears to be too small.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: drzerg on 10/06/2017 09:51 pm
Hawthorne Municipal Airport has 1,511 m × 30 m concrete runway. AN 225 theoretically could land and take off from there without cargo. with shuttle class external load it will need at least 2500m runway.

but in case if you really really want to fly AN 225 from Hawthorne with BFR booster on his back you will need additional power on take off. i think one or two raptors on 50% will be enough.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/06/2017 11:17 pm
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
Meanwhile from Reddit the new bridge between SpaceX building and the parking garage accross Crenshaw:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/74cizr/bfr_spoiler_spacex_unwrapped_the_new_bridge/
 (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/74cizr/bfr_spoiler_spacex_unwrapped_the_new_bridge/)
The bridge prevents BFR to go North from Jack Northrop Blvd to  W 120th Street in front of the SpX headquarter. However, AFIK, Falcon rockets exit the building on its North side, to Rocket Road, instead of on the South side, to Jack Northrop Blvd. And, Rocket Road is North of the bridge. So, keep the existing exit!

From what I've seen the factory exit is on the southwest side of the building, exiting out to Jack Northrop Ave.

Instead of going east and then turning onto Crenshaw, which now has the pedestrian bridge over it, they could go west on Jack Northrop Ave and then turn right onto Prairie Ave. Then it's a matter of whether they want to stay on Prairie till they get to Arbor Vitae, or jog over at some point to get onto Hawthorne.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jedsmd on 10/06/2017 11:41 pm
From ShitElonsays.com
Transcript - Making Life Multiplanetary - Elon Musk - Adelaide IAC:

Quote
[36:56] That's not a typo. [Laughter] Although it is aspirational. [Laughter] So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built...

...the facility is being built...  That sounds like he is currently planing to build the main tanks somewhere new rather than Hawthorne
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/07/2017 12:51 am
I was under the impression they were taking over the Triumph Aerostructures building on the other end of Jack Northrop Ave, so wouldn't they go up Prairie Ave?
That's the obvious route.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/07/2017 12:52 am
From ShitElonsays.com
Transcript - Making Life Multiplanetary - Elon Musk - Adelaide IAC:

Quote
[36:56] That's not a typo. [Laughter] Although it is aspirational. [Laughter] So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built...

...the facility is being built...  That sounds like he is currently planing to build the main tanks somewhere new rather than Hawthorne
...not to me. A new building in Hawthorne, building out that Triumph building into a rocket facility.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/07/2017 01:00 am
From ShitElonsays.com
Transcript - Making Life Multiplanetary - Elon Musk - Adelaide IAC:

Quote
[36:56] That's not a typo. [Laughter] Although it is aspirational. [Laughter] So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built...

...the facility is being built...  That sounds like he is currently planing to build the main tanks somewhere new rather than Hawthorne

Inside the Hawthorne building is the Merlin engine production line, the Dragon production line, the Falcon 9 production line, the Falcon fairing production line. Each of these could be considered to be "factories" in a loose sense.

That said, the usual interpretation of the word "factory" is one or more buildings where product is built. But as Robotbeat has advocated, a new building could be the "factory", and that could be on the same street as their current factory.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/07/2017 01:04 am
And he said /facility/, which doesn't imply a building necessarily. An earlier (but still very recent) tweet said BFR would be built in existing /factories/, which do imply buildings..
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jedsmd on 10/07/2017 01:22 am
And he said /facility/, which doesn't imply a building necessarily. An earlier (but still very recent) tweet said BFR would be built in existing /factories/, which do imply buildings..

Agreed the preponderance of info implies Hawthorne.  But I think it will have to be someplace larger and more convenient.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/07/2017 01:26 am
And he said /facility/, which doesn't imply a building necessarily. An earlier (but still very recent) tweet said BFR would be built in existing /factories/, which do imply buildings..

Agreed the preponderance of info implies Hawthorne.  But I think it will have to be someplace larger and more convenient.
The Triumph facility is the obvious one. They built 747s there, and there's a straight shot up Prairie Ave. Also, what besides BFR would SpaceX need to acquire a new, huge facility for?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/07/2017 03:26 am
Is it possible to use a Zeppelin for short distance transport of the BFR second stage? There are modern cargo lifter in development: Lockheed was planning an air vehicle with 90 metric tons of maximum payload. The first stage, however, might be too heavy to be transported this way, but maybe in parts and components to be integrated at the port...

The Sept 2017 presentation specifies the 9m BFS dry mass = 85 tons (1st slide below).

From the 2016 BFR presentation (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu), we know that the older 12m BFS dry mass was 150 tons, and the older 12m BFR dry mass was 275 tons.

Using the older 12m BFR/BFS dry mass ratio of 275/150, and assuming the new 9m BFR/BFS has a similar dry mass ratio, we can estimate that the new 9m BFR dry mass is around 155 tons.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jedsmd on 10/07/2017 06:42 am
And he said /facility/, which doesn't imply a building necessarily. An earlier (but still very recent) tweet said BFR would be built in existing /factories/, which do imply buildings..

Agreed the preponderance of info implies Hawthorne.  But I think it will have to be someplace larger and more convenient.
The Triumph facility is the obvious one. They built 747s there, and there's a straight shot up Prairie Ave. Also, what besides BFR would SpaceX need to acquire a new, huge facility for?

I did not know about SpaceX acquiring (part of?) the Triumph Aerospace facility.  Still a hard haul out to the port but maybe it's just not that big a deal.

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/07/2017 01:44 pm
The Triumph facility is the obvious one... what besides BFR would SpaceX need to acquire a new, huge facility for?
I believe there's no question that the majority of BFR manufacturing will occur at Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically any sub-assembly that can be road transported without much fuss.

The only question in my mind is where they'll manufacture the large carbon-fiber structures, and where they'll do the final BFR assembly.  I suspect these steps will occur somewhere other than Hawthorne, but we'll see.

So as they ramp down F9/FH production and ramp up BFR sub-assembly production at Hawthorne, I suspect they'll simply need more floor space.  The Triumph building is an obvious choice for that.

They built 747s there...
Did they build full length 747 airframes, or just smaller sub-assemblies of that?

and there's a straight shot up Prairie Ave.
Looking at Google maps 3D view, it looks like the part of the Triumph facility that borders Prairie Ave isn't very tall.  The taller building is East of there, along Jack Northrop Ave.

Also, looking at the Google street view along Prairie Ave, there's a large concrete wall and a row of public trees blocking access.

So if they do all of the BFR manufacturing at the Triumph facility, including the large CF structures and final assembly (which I doubt), then the BFR street parade would still need to start along Jack Northrop Ave.  With that in mind, they could opt to go either East or West initially.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Thorny on 10/07/2017 02:00 pm
They built 747s there,

Just fuselage panels. Final assembly has always been in Everett, Washington.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Brovane on 10/07/2017 05:34 pm
Just a wild idea, but what about flying the BFR stages out of LAX?  The BFR should be doable as an external payload on the AN-225.  The aircraft is rated for up to 200,000kg on the upper fuselage and the payload can be 70 meters long.  The AN-225 is available for charter through Antonov airlines.

Route

Head South on Prairie and then head West on El Segundo.  You then enter the 405 freeway North on the Off-ramp, there is a flyover from the 405N to the 105 heading towards LAX.  However, you are on the South side of LAX, which is the Air Cargo side.   Once you are on the LAX property, it shouldn't be an issue moving the stage(s) around.

To make things easier you could, move both the upper and lower stages simultaneously too LAX.  You then transport one stage at a time and you just park the stage at LAX for a couple of days until the AN-225 finishes transporting the other stage. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/07/2017 05:43 pm
No. Just use a barge.

Geez, this isn't that hard. We already had this figured out before IAC2017 and it has just been confirmed since then.

They're going to make the BFRs at their Hawthorne campus and ship them via barge.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/08/2017 01:27 am
Just a wild idea, but what about flying the BFR stages out of LAX?

1) more expensive than shipping BFR / BFS from the L.A. sea port.
2) you still have to remove traffic signals, utility poles, etc. to get from Hawthorne to LAX.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Brovane on 10/08/2017 05:43 am
Just a wild idea, but what about flying the BFR stages out of LAX?

1) more expensive than shipping BFR / BFS from the L.A. sea port.
2) you still have to remove traffic signals, utility poles, etc. to get from Hawthorne to LAX.

Is it more expensive?  Didn't it cost $3M to ship the ET-94 from Louisiana to LA.  The AN-225 charters for $30,000 hour.   For sea shipping wouldn't SpaceX need to build a special purpose barge/ship that would allow enclosed space, something like the Delta Mariner?   I would assume that SpaceX would want to have a BFR exposed on a barge deck all the way from LA to Florida. 

Interesting enough I found a reference of about $300k to transport cargo from Denmark to Kazakhstan.  Which is just about the same distance from LA to the Cape. 

True about the traffic signals, but it is about 5 miles to the airport, isn't the journey to LA harbor about 15 miles?   Would that mean a lot fewer traffic signals etc would have to be moved going to LAX versus LA harbor. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Brovane on 10/08/2017 05:46 am
No. Just use a barge.

Geez, this isn't that hard. We already had this figured out before IAC2017 and it has just been confirmed since then.

They're going to make the BFRs at their Hawthorne campus and ship them via barge.

When did SpaceX confirm the method of shipping the BFR from Hawthorne to Florida?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lars-J on 10/08/2017 07:19 am
Is it more expensive?  Didn't it cost $3M to ship the ET-94 from Louisiana to LA.  The AN-225 charters for $30,000 hour.

In additional to the ways this is a bad idea - The AN-225 won't work. It has never carried anything close to the size of the BFR booster or BFR spaceship.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Flying Beaver on 10/08/2017 07:36 am
Is it more expensive?  Didn't it cost $3M to ship the ET-94 from Louisiana to LA.  The AN-225 charters for $30,000 hour.

The AN-225 won't work. It has never carried anything close to the size of the BFR booster or BFR spaceship.

Well... It was built for a certain, large spacecraft shuttling, purpose.

Edit: It also does state on Anotonov's website that it is still capable of carrying 200t of payload externally.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/08/2017 11:10 am
Well... It was built for a certain, large spacecraft shuttling, purpose.

The shuttle orbiter is relatively small compared to BFR.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/08/2017 11:41 am
When did SpaceX confirm the method of shipping the BFR from Hawthorne to Florida?

Good point.  We should avoid making statements that sound like facts until they're confirmed.

We're all speculating here.

By the way, has SpaceX even confirmed that the first BFR launch will be from Florida?  I think it will be, but some folks over on the Texas launch site thread (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.560) are speculating it may launch from there.  Also, they could use some type of offshore platform to launch BFR, as shown in the last video in the presentation.

In any case, it will be fascinating to see how this all plays out.  BFR is uncharted territory.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/08/2017 12:53 pm
folks need to remember that a key SpaceX culture is co-location of R&D with manufacturing.

We also need to remember that Elon Musk is on record (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=64&v=3_iu75TFgX8) saying BFR will be built near the launch site:
Quote
The current Falcon 9 rocket is something that can be manufactured in California and road transported...

But as we go to future rockets that are bigger than that, we would actually do the manufacturing at the launch site, or near the launch site, because otherwise the road transportation logistics become... Essentially you'd either have to put it on a big ship or build it near the launch site.  The logical thing is to build it near the launch site.  So that is something that would occur where ever this launch site occurs.

With this in mind, I'd say it's at least a possibility.

Yes, co-locating R&D with manufacturing has helped SpaceX reach their goals, but it's not a goal in and of itself. 
The goal is a Mars base.  If there's a case where co-location doesn't align with that goal, they may make an exception.

Again, I'm assuming most BFR sub-assemblies, i.e. Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, etc., basically anything less than 13 feet tall will still be manufactured in Hawthorne. There are no issues with co-location here. And since most of the complicated stuff is less than 13 feet tall, I'd say the majority of BFR manufacturing will be in Hawthorne regardless.

So my only question is where SpaceX will build the large carbon fiber structures and do the final assembly.

And to be clear, Elon has changed his mind about things in the past, so I'm not saying this is certain.  But it's definitely within the realm of possibility.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: spacenut on 10/08/2017 01:22 pm
SpaceX could just buy a ship to transport the BFR/BFS, enclosed via Panama Canal to the cape, or Boca Chica when it is ready.  Once the first few are built, I predict they will manufacture them in Texas. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/08/2017 01:31 pm
SpaceX could just buy a ship to transport the BFR/BFS, enclosed via Panama Canal to the cape, or Boca Chica when it is ready.  Once the first few are built, I predict they will manufacture them in Texas.
Building at the launch site is obsolete, based on the old 12-15 meter designs which couldn't be built in and transported from Hawthorne.

Useful for a larger variation in the future.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 10/08/2017 01:43 pm

I'd have thought build near the launch site is obsolete for the 12m + BFR successor as well.  The P2P platforms in the video would suggest anywhere with a port for future vehicles.

It would also help with noise and the cost of building trenches etc for the world's biggest ever rocket.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/08/2017 01:54 pm
CargoLift AG was planning a 160 ton lifter:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CargoLifter

That would be perfect for SpaceX. Except they went bust. Their last hope was to try and transport A380 fuselages from Hamburg to Toulouse overland - the current route is very difficult.

However, given they went bust, developing it would be 10s of millions, and SpaceX wants low costs.

Of course, if Musk is as confident as he seems about suborbital flights, couldn't the booster take off from the airport and fly a few km to a ship :) This could make sense in most places - but not what looks like down town LA.

The other question - how many airframes do they intend to make? If assembling at Hawthorne as well as getting the booster out - they have to get the fuel tanks in.

Surely much better to "manufacture" in Hawthorne, and assemble near a launch pad - probably Brownsville. From there, they can fly themselves to the Cape.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: guckyfan on 10/08/2017 02:30 pm
CargoLift AG was planning a 160 ton lifter:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CargoLifter

The hangar is still in use. It looks like this now:

(https://i0.wp.com/www.themeparkguide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Tropical-Islands.jpg?w=1405)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: DreamyPickle on 10/08/2017 03:16 pm
Airship transport for BFR is not going to happen. SpaceX would have to pay for getting such a system operational and it would be far more than it takes to move power lines and traffic lights.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Brovane on 10/08/2017 07:17 pm
Airship transport for BFR is not going to happen. SpaceX would have to pay for getting such a system operational and it would be far more than it takes to move power lines and traffic lights.

Such a system is already operational. The AN-225 is already rated for external payloads up to 200,000 kg and up to 70 meters long.  It is also available for civilian charter and is in regular use for transportation of odd-size cargo. 


http://www.antonov.com/aircraft/transport-aircraft/an-225-mriya (http://www.antonov.com/aircraft/transport-aircraft/an-225-mriya)

 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Brovane on 10/08/2017 07:25 pm
Well... It was built for a certain, large spacecraft shuttling, purpose.

The shuttle orbiter is relatively small compared to BFR.

I would assume that the stages would be transported separately not the entire rocket in one load. 

As long as each stage is less than 70-meters in length and has a mass less than 200,000 kg empty then the AN-225 can lift it. 

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/08/2017 08:26 pm
I would assume that the stages would be transported separately not the entire rocket in one load. 
Ditto.

As long as each stage is less than 70-meters in length and has a mass less than 200,000 kg empty then the AN-225 can lift it.

BFR booster dry mass is somewhere around 155,000 kg, so that seems to work.

BFR booster length is around 201 feet, or 61 meters, but they may need some type of shroud to cover the engines (like they did with the shuttle orbiter), and some type of dome on top the inter-stage for aerodynamics.  So that could get over 70m.

And again, they would still need to get it from Hawthorne to LAX.  It's not so much the number of miles as the number of turns, which involve removing traffic lights, utility poles, etc.  Also note that most of the wider streets in the area seem to go under I-405.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lee Jay on 10/08/2017 08:47 pm
No. Just use a barge.

Geez, this isn't that hard. We already had this figured out before IAC2017 and it has just been confirmed since then.

They're going to make the BFRs at their Hawthorne campus and ship them via barge.

Hawthorne isn't on a waterfront.  How do you get it from the Hawthorne factory to the harbor?  I've looked at the routes, and it's not trivial at all.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/08/2017 08:48 pm
No. Just use a barge.

Geez, this isn't that hard. We already had this figured out before IAC2017 and it has just been confirmed since then.

They're going to make the BFRs at their Hawthorne campus and ship them via barge.

Hawthorne isn't on a waterfront.  How do you get it from the Hawthorne factory to the harbor?  I've looked at the routes, and it's not trivial at all.
It has been done before.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: philw1776 on 10/08/2017 11:09 pm
folks need to remember that a key SpaceX culture is co-location of R&D with manufacturing.

We also need to remember that Elon Musk is on record (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=64&v=3_iu75TFgX8) saying BFR will be built near the launch site:
Quote
The current Falcon 9 rocket is something that can be manufactured in California and road transported...

But as we go to future rockets that are bigger than that, we would actually do the manufacturing at the launch site, or near the launch site, because otherwise the road transportation logistics become... Essentially you'd either have to put it on a big ship or build it near the launch site.  The logical thing is to build it near the launch site.  So that is something that would occur where ever this launch site occurs.

With this in mind, I'd say it's at least a possibility.

Yes, co-locating R&D with manufacturing has helped SpaceX reach their goals, but it's not a goal in and of itself. 
The goal is a Mars base.  If there's a case where co-location doesn't align with that goal, they may make an exception.

Again, I'm assuming most BFR sub-assemblies, i.e. Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, etc., basically anything less than 13 feet tall will still be manufactured in Hawthorne. There are no issues with co-location here. And since most of the complicated stuff is less than 13 feet tall, I'd say the majority of BFR manufacturing will be in Hawthorne regardless.

So my only question is where SpaceX will build the large carbon fiber structures and do the final assembly.

And to be clear, Elon has changed his mind about things in the past, so I'm not saying this is certain.  But it's definitely within the realm of possibility.

He said that when they were considering 15m diameter BFRs and settling on 12m BFR.  Such sizes were impossible to build at Hawthorne because of transportation issues. AFTER your quote Elon later said that BFR (the new 9m design) could be built at SpaceX's facilities.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/09/2017 12:44 am
He said that when they were considering 15m diameter BFRs and settling on 12m BFR.

He said that back in 2013.  If I remember correctly, back in 2013, Gwynne was talking about a 10m BFR.

Certainly, there were no public plans for a 12m or 15m BFR back then. The 12m BFR plans came out in 2016.


It has been done before.

No, it hasn't.  As I said, the BFR booster is 50 feet longer than the shuttle external tank.  You can't ignore that.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Long EZ on 10/09/2017 01:00 am
How about moving the BFR and BFS in a vertical orientation for the Hawthorn to harbor trip? You would permanently underground all overhead wires on the path. You would need to build a transporter that the BFR or BFS would mount on. This would be a 9 meter square with independently steering wheels at each corner. Enough to lift all the weight. This would of course have to dynamically level the support structure.
Once the rocket is built in a factory it is backed out horizontally then lifted by cranes on the transporter. Then drive it to the harbor. No more problems trying to make sharp corners! I would imagine that adding ballast may be necessary. The attachment would be the same as the stage to stage if transporting BFS and another set would match the launch mount for BFR. If you need more room for more wheels stretch this into a rectangle. 9 meters wide by 12 meters should spread out the load nicely and still make corners easily. Make it modular so it could be hauled around in pieces by conventional truck. This could be self powered or towed.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 10/09/2017 01:26 am
Why can't the BFS and BFR be transported vertically?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: spacenut on 10/09/2017 02:39 am
I believe they could if all overhead utilities were moved underground, and traffic lights could swing out of the way during transport, then have a crane lower them onto a ship at the dock. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Jim on 10/09/2017 02:44 am
How about moving the BFR and BFS in a vertical orientation for the Hawthorn to harbor trip?

not possible, there are overpasses.

The issue is that the factory is south of the 105 and east of 405.  The shuttle and ET were north of the 105 and there was an overpass of the 405 in the path.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: QuantumG on 10/09/2017 02:58 am
Yeah, I think what you need is a vehicle that can both transport and erect the stage... I don't know what you'd call that or whether SpaceX has built multiple of them already...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/09/2017 03:11 am
How about moving the BFR and BFS in a vertical orientation for the Hawthorn to harbor trip?

not possible, there are overpasses.

The issue is that the factory is south of the 105 and east of 405.  The shuttle and ET were north of the 105 and there was an overpass of the 405 in the path.


Jim,  I live nearby.  From the SpaceX plant,  on Northrop Ave.,  go West down the end of the block and turn right onto Prairie Ave, then north on Prairie over the 105. Then make a left on W. Abor Vitae St., go over the 405 and continue using the same route back that the Shuttle ET took to the Marina del Rey where I live.

Marina Del Rey Harbor Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9742424,-118.4451402/33.9196589,-118.3304419/@33.9604814,-118.3830258,12.71z/data=!4m29!4m28!1m25!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4324234!2d33.9819298!3s0x80c2ba78dc2bc1b3:0x658458a76a087a38!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4303896!2d33.9722451!3s0x80c2b084fe00749f:0x2a49a4dc2a3d7ff5!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4006028!2d33.9546683!3s0x80c2b0d1b339e1eb:0xfdbadaccd70586bc!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3446111!2d33.9527123!3s0x80c2b657cbc2d513:0xa10192bf980da175!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3438713!2d33.9200567!3s0x80c2b67f85c411d9:0xbb78fb72447e06c7!1m0!3e0)
(pardon the small route mistake between the Culver Blvd Overpass and Fiji Way on Lincoln Blvd.  If the county can get funds to re-do that small bridge to a drawbridge the tight turn there could be eliminated.)

Or use my proposed route to the LA Harbor with no overhead bridges.  Used partially by a heavy left project to move a 480-tonne rock:

LA Harbor Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9196598,-118.3378367/33.7663333,-118.2616747/@33.8414113,-118.2518905,22818m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m39!4m38!1m35!3m4!1m2!1d-118.30903!2d33.9164481!3s0x80c2b5f04f876abb:0xdf6f338d4873ce47!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2556902!2d33.9163695!3s0x80c2ca4b86f88b73:0xefeaf4ac7ff0bb1b!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2485964!2d33.8471103!3s0x80dd34d93e888689:0x202730ae8345ab55!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2800816!2d33.8463219!3s0x80dd354902dbe9e1:0x6e200117c471eeca!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2799679!2d33.8432891!3s0x80dd35489dfb3227:0xc8d01aeb7f696aa0!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2780894!2d33.8316785!3s0x80dd356aee341b7f:0x54f17351e8ca85cf!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2637288!2d33.8315939!3s0x80dd351a06820ff7:0x5a658c7e9b0847b7!1m0!3e1)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: DreamyPickle on 10/09/2017 08:43 am
Airship transport for BFR is not going to happen. SpaceX would have to pay for getting such a system operational and it would be far more than it takes to move power lines and traffic lights.
Such a system is already operational. The AN-225 is already rated for external payloads up to 200,000 kg and up to 70 meters long.  It is also available for civilian charter and is in regular use for transportation of odd-size cargo. 
That's an airplane, not an airship. And a 9-meter diameter external cargo on an airplane would be quite a thing to see.

How about moving the BFR and BFS in a vertical orientation for the Hawthorn to harbor trip?
not possible, there are overpasses.
Overpasses don't have enough clearance for transporting the 9 meter BFR horizontally either so you need a route that avoids them anyway. Looking at google maps there are several places where regular streets go over the interstate.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/09/2017 11:15 am
How about moving the BFR and BFS in a vertical orientation for the Hawthorn to harbor trip?

not possible, there are overpasses.

The issue is that the factory is south of the 105 and east of 405.  The shuttle and ET were north of the 105 and there was an overpass of the 405 in the path.


Jim,  I live nearby.  From the SpaceX plant,  on Northrop Ave.,  go West down the end of the block and turn right onto Prairie Ave, then north on Prairie over the 105. Then make a left on W. Abor Vitae St., go over the 405 and continue using the same route back that the Shuttle ET took to the Marina del Rey where I live.

Marina Del Rey Harbor Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9742424,-118.4451402/33.9196589,-118.3304419/@33.9604814,-118.3830258,12.71z/data=!4m29!4m28!1m25!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4324234!2d33.9819298!3s0x80c2ba78dc2bc1b3:0x658458a76a087a38!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4303896!2d33.9722451!3s0x80c2b084fe00749f:0x2a49a4dc2a3d7ff5!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4006028!2d33.9546683!3s0x80c2b0d1b339e1eb:0xfdbadaccd70586bc!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3446111!2d33.9527123!3s0x80c2b657cbc2d513:0xa10192bf980da175!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3438713!2d33.9200567!3s0x80c2b67f85c411d9:0xbb78fb72447e06c7!1m0!3e0)
(pardon the small route mistake between the Culver Blvd Overpass and Fiji Way on Lincoln Blvd.  If the county can get funds to re-do that small bridge to a drawbridge the tight turn there could be eliminated.)

Or use my proposed route to the LA Harbor with no overhead bridges.  Used partially by a heavy left project to move a 480-tonne rock:

LA Harbor Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9196598,-118.3378367/33.7663333,-118.2616747/@33.8414113,-118.2518905,22818m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m39!4m38!1m35!3m4!1m2!1d-118.30903!2d33.9164481!3s0x80c2b5f04f876abb:0xdf6f338d4873ce47!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2556902!2d33.9163695!3s0x80c2ca4b86f88b73:0xefeaf4ac7ff0bb1b!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2485964!2d33.8471103!3s0x80dd34d93e888689:0x202730ae8345ab55!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2800816!2d33.8463219!3s0x80dd354902dbe9e1:0x6e200117c471eeca!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2799679!2d33.8432891!3s0x80dd35489dfb3227:0xc8d01aeb7f696aa0!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2780894!2d33.8316785!3s0x80dd356aee341b7f:0x54f17351e8ca85cf!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2637288!2d33.8315939!3s0x80dd351a06820ff7:0x5a658c7e9b0847b7!1m0!3e1)

Yes, there are routes that go over the interstates, but getting BFR around the turns will be much more difficult than it was with the shuttle external tank.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Brovane on 10/09/2017 02:43 pm

That's an airplane, not an airship. And a 9-meter diameter external cargo on an airplane would be quite a thing to see.


It would be a sight.  However, it would be within the AN-225 capability.

Here is what a 7.75-meter diameter external cargo looks like on a much smaller aircraft. 

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jpo234 on 10/09/2017 02:59 pm
Airship transport for BFR is not going to happen. SpaceX would have to pay for getting such a system operational and it would be far more than it takes to move power lines and traffic lights.

Never say never. This is what Elon's friends are there for:

Sergey Brin’s giant airship will be world’s largest, serve humanitarian role (https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/26/sergey-brins-giant-airship-will-be-worlds-largest-serve-humanitarian-role/)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lar on 10/09/2017 04:49 pm
This can be an interesting thread and a good resource for later. But let's avoid repeating the same concerns if they are of a general nature.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/09/2017 10:15 pm
Also, if they had to, they could just give the owners of that ornamental concrete wall like $100,000 to have it removed and/or replaced with a removable fence.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/09/2017 10:16 pm
How about moving the BFR and BFS in a vertical orientation for the Hawthorn to harbor trip?

not possible, there are overpasses.

The issue is that the factory is south of the 105 and east of 405.  The shuttle and ET were north of the 105 and there was an overpass of the 405 in the path.


Jim,  I live nearby.  From the SpaceX plant,  on Northrop Ave.,  go West down the end of the block and turn right onto Prairie Ave, then north on Prairie over the 105. Then make a left on W. Abor Vitae St., go over the 405 and continue using the same route back that the Shuttle ET took to the Marina del Rey where I live.

Marina Del Rey Harbor Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9742424,-118.4451402/33.9196589,-118.3304419/@33.9604814,-118.3830258,12.71z/data=!4m29!4m28!1m25!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4324234!2d33.9819298!3s0x80c2ba78dc2bc1b3:0x658458a76a087a38!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4303896!2d33.9722451!3s0x80c2b084fe00749f:0x2a49a4dc2a3d7ff5!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4006028!2d33.9546683!3s0x80c2b0d1b339e1eb:0xfdbadaccd70586bc!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3446111!2d33.9527123!3s0x80c2b657cbc2d513:0xa10192bf980da175!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3438713!2d33.9200567!3s0x80c2b67f85c411d9:0xbb78fb72447e06c7!1m0!3e0)
(pardon the small route mistake between the Culver Blvd Overpass and Fiji Way on Lincoln Blvd.  If the county can get funds to re-do that small bridge to a drawbridge the tight turn there could be eliminated.)

Or use my proposed route to the LA Harbor with no overhead bridges.  Used partially by a heavy left project to move a 480-tonne rock:

LA Harbor Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9196598,-118.3378367/33.7663333,-118.2616747/@33.8414113,-118.2518905,22818m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m39!4m38!1m35!3m4!1m2!1d-118.30903!2d33.9164481!3s0x80c2b5f04f876abb:0xdf6f338d4873ce47!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2556902!2d33.9163695!3s0x80c2ca4b86f88b73:0xefeaf4ac7ff0bb1b!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2485964!2d33.8471103!3s0x80dd34d93e888689:0x202730ae8345ab55!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2800816!2d33.8463219!3s0x80dd354902dbe9e1:0x6e200117c471eeca!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2799679!2d33.8432891!3s0x80dd35489dfb3227:0xc8d01aeb7f696aa0!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2780894!2d33.8316785!3s0x80dd356aee341b7f:0x54f17351e8ca85cf!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2637288!2d33.8315939!3s0x80dd351a06820ff7:0x5a658c7e9b0847b7!1m0!3e1)

Yes, there are routes that go over the interstates, but getting BFR around the turns will be much more difficult than it was with the shuttle external tank.
Looks like all they'd have to do is remove part of that black chain link fence (or put it on hinges) for there to be plenty of room. $10,000 max.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/09/2017 10:42 pm
Why not just assemble at the Seal Beach location where the Saturn SII stages were assembled and shipped? Could even still use Hawthorne facilities for most production.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/09/2017 11:21 pm
Why not just assemble at the Seal Beach location where the Saturn SII stages were assembled and shipped? Could even still use Hawthorne facilities for most production.
Because then you're splitting up your workforce, losing much of the advantage SpaceX has built up. You'll get a cultural divide if you have two locations like that. If something doesn't fit or needs rework, you'll have to send it through the city then back, slowing everything down. Better to just move it once when it's fully complete and be done with it.

...also, it doesn't fit with what Musk has actually said or with any other information we have.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: nacnud on 10/09/2017 11:42 pm
Go east into the car park then reverse direction back out. You don't have to take the racing line round the corner :)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Brovane on 10/10/2017 02:00 am
Almost the size of a BFR 1st stage.

Transporting a 400ton tank that is 74meters long and 8.4M wide.  Gives a good idea of the scale. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XqYjyFANrw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XqYjyFANrw)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/10/2017 04:02 am
How about moving the BFR and BFS in a vertical orientation for the Hawthorn to harbor trip?

not possible, there are overpasses.

The issue is that the factory is south of the 105 and east of 405.  The shuttle and ET were north of the 105 and there was an overpass of the 405 in the path.


Jim,  I live nearby.  From the SpaceX plant,  on Northrop Ave.,  go West down the end of the block and turn right onto Prairie Ave, then north on Prairie over the 105. Then make a left on W. Abor Vitae St., go over the 405 and continue using the same route back that the Shuttle ET took to the Marina del Rey where I live.

Marina Del Rey Harbor Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9742424,-118.4451402/33.9196589,-118.3304419/@33.9604814,-118.3830258,12.71z/data=!4m29!4m28!1m25!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4324234!2d33.9819298!3s0x80c2ba78dc2bc1b3:0x658458a76a087a38!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4303896!2d33.9722451!3s0x80c2b084fe00749f:0x2a49a4dc2a3d7ff5!3m4!1m2!1d-118.4006028!2d33.9546683!3s0x80c2b0d1b339e1eb:0xfdbadaccd70586bc!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3446111!2d33.9527123!3s0x80c2b657cbc2d513:0xa10192bf980da175!3m4!1m2!1d-118.3438713!2d33.9200567!3s0x80c2b67f85c411d9:0xbb78fb72447e06c7!1m0!3e0)
(pardon the small route mistake between the Culver Blvd Overpass and Fiji Way on Lincoln Blvd.  If the county can get funds to re-do that small bridge to a drawbridge the tight turn there could be eliminated.)

Or use my proposed route to the LA Harbor with no overhead bridges.  Used partially by a heavy left project to move a 480-tonne rock:

LA Harbor Route (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.9196598,-118.3378367/33.7663333,-118.2616747/@33.8414113,-118.2518905,22818m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m39!4m38!1m35!3m4!1m2!1d-118.30903!2d33.9164481!3s0x80c2b5f04f876abb:0xdf6f338d4873ce47!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2556902!2d33.9163695!3s0x80c2ca4b86f88b73:0xefeaf4ac7ff0bb1b!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2485964!2d33.8471103!3s0x80dd34d93e888689:0x202730ae8345ab55!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2800816!2d33.8463219!3s0x80dd354902dbe9e1:0x6e200117c471eeca!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2799679!2d33.8432891!3s0x80dd35489dfb3227:0xc8d01aeb7f696aa0!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2780894!2d33.8316785!3s0x80dd356aee341b7f:0x54f17351e8ca85cf!3m4!1m2!1d-118.2637288!2d33.8315939!3s0x80dd351a06820ff7:0x5a658c7e9b0847b7!1m0!3e1)

An Update (2017_10_09):

While waiting for the SpaceX launch overnight it suddenly occurred to me that new elevated light rail line being constructed from downtown LA to LAX would cut off any large vehicles on W. Abor Vitae St.

So today I drove the Shuttle tank route and found that the light rail route is elevated along Aviation Blvd., EXCEPT at W. Abor Vitae St. where the light rail line dips to an at-grade crossing and then immediately goes back to being elevated.  So apparently, someone has asked or project planners intended to have this one street crossing at-grade to allow large/tall vehicles to cross the tracks.

Location: https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9527015,-118.3786285,133m/data=!3m1!1e3
(The Google map photo is quite outdated, as the at-grade crossing is already completed.)

Note.  There is one additional at-grade crossing south from this location on 104th that leads right to the LAX airport property near 24R to allow commercial vehicles to the cargo terminals (for thoses readers interested in pursuing the BFR airlift option).
https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9420842,-118.3785258,87m/data=!3m1!1e3

Best,
Tony De La Rosa

PS, I understand that light rail has overhead electrification wires, so I'll keep an eye open as to how the project will handle this with some easy disconnect block.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/10/2017 12:02 pm
So today I drove the Shuttle tank route and found that the light rail route is elevated along Aviation Blvd...

Actual eyes on the ground.  Now we're talking.

If they do end up road transporting finished BFR stages from Hawthorne, Kudos to anyone that can predict the actual route.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/10/2017 12:08 pm
Almost the size of a BFR 1st stage.

Transporting a 400ton tank that is 74meters long and 8.4M wide.  Gives a good idea of the scale. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XqYjyFANrw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XqYjyFANrw)

Note that this tank is actually 45 feet longer than the BFR booster.  Huge.

Also, from the video, it appears that the manufacturing site is very close to water, with only a short drive along a road that appears to be designed for this purpose.  No turns.  No traffic lights.  No electrical wires.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/10/2017 04:27 pm
So today I drove the Shuttle tank route and found that the light rail route is elevated along Aviation Blvd...

Actual eyes on the ground.  Now we're talking.

If they do end up road transporting finished BFR stages from Hawthorne, Kudos to anyone that can predict the actual route.

Sounds like poll/contest time...
Maybe we could figure out an algorithm to weigh the deviation from the actual and thereby give a score of how close the guessed path is? 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/12/2017 03:21 am
I might be doing a Mea Culpa pretty soon.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Helodriver on 10/12/2017 03:45 am
Straight from Shotwell to me tonight. BFF is too expensive to road transport from Hawthorne to the port. New factory to be built in LA port for BFF. More production sites later near launch facilities. Texas is a definite BFF launch site.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/12/2017 03:46 am
Straight from Shotwell to me tonight. BFF is too expensive to road transport from Hawthorne to the port. New factory to be built in LA port for BFF. More production sites later near launch facilities. Texas is a definite BFF launch site.
...and there it is!!!

I was wrong, y'all!
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: docmordrid on 10/12/2017 07:10 am
BFF?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Semmel on 10/12/2017 07:50 am
BFF?

Wild guess: Helodriver was on a mobile and it autocorrected 'BFR' to 'BFF' because it only knows every day life acronyms.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nomadd on 10/12/2017 08:04 am
Straight from Shotwell to me tonight. BFF is too expensive to road transport from Hawthorne to the port. New factory to be built in LA port for BFF. More production sites later near launch facilities. Texas is a definite BFF launch site.
My sister just asked me what I was doing today. My response was "Sitting in an alien bar in a tiny medieval village in Switzerland with a retired Irish cop, finding out that my next door neighbor is going to launch rockets to Mars from his yard."
 It's actually not the strangest thing I've ever told her. The H. R. Giger motif was strangely appropriate.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/12/2017 08:29 am
Airship transport for BFR is not going to happen. SpaceX would have to pay for getting such a system operational and it would be far more than it takes to move power lines and traffic lights.

Such a system is already operational. The AN-225 is already rated for external payloads up to 200,000 kg and up to 70 meters long.  It is also available for civilian charter and is in regular use for transportation of odd-size cargo. 


http://www.antonov.com/aircraft/transport-aircraft/an-225-mriya (http://www.antonov.com/aircraft/transport-aircraft/an-225-mriya)

 
Not sure how you'd get an AN-225 to SpaceX.  I note it has a small airport nearby - but that seems like a short runway. And if you want to road transport it to LAX, then you might as well take it to the coast.

And with one AN-225 in operation world wide, and no chance of a replacement (unless Scaled Composites have a trick up their sleeve), the whole BFR enterprise would be at risk.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/12/2017 08:33 am
Why not just assemble at the Seal Beach location where the Saturn SII stages were assembled and shipped? Could even still use Hawthorne facilities for most production.
Because then you're splitting up your workforce, losing much of the advantage SpaceX has built up. You'll get a cultural divide if you have two locations like that. If something doesn't fit or needs rework, you'll have to send it through the city then back, slowing everything down. Better to just move it once when it's fully complete and be done with it.

...also, it doesn't fit with what Musk has actually said or with any other information we have.

It really depends on how much work is involved in manufacturing as opposed to final assembly. It could be that 80% of the value add is done at Hawthorne, and the final assembly and testing at a new location.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: woods170 on 10/12/2017 08:35 am
BFF?

Wild guess: Helodriver was on a mobile and it autocorrected 'BFR' to 'BFF' because it only knows every day life acronyms.
Nothing to worry about then. 'BFR' will be an everyday life acronym within a few years from now.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/12/2017 08:36 am
And the other question .... with hindsight ... was it a mistake to build a rocket factory in down town LA.

Of course, if Musk had known what he wanted from BFR, he'd have built the factory further out and given it its own launchpad.

That of course is like asking "which nitwit built Windsor castle right under the Heathrow flight path?"
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/12/2017 08:46 am
BFF?

Wild guess: Helodriver was on a mobile and it autocorrected 'BFR' to 'BFF' because it only knows every day life acronyms.
Nothing to worry about then. 'BFR' will be an everyday life acronym within a few years from now.
Or will the name be changed? "BFR" is actually a Cisco term from about 10 -15 years ago, and relates to a Big Router. However, once they launched it, it got given a boring name.

And "technically" speaking, should it be FBR, as in this usage "F" is always used as a superlative for an adjective, and not as an adjective in itself? (Note difference between "F-enormous dog" and "enormous F-ing dog")

Indeed, whilst we expect the rocket to be amazing (or F-amazing), we do not expect it to attempt procreation.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: woods170 on 10/12/2017 10:04 am
BFF?

Wild guess: Helodriver was on a mobile and it autocorrected 'BFR' to 'BFF' because it only knows every day life acronyms.
Nothing to worry about then. 'BFR' will be an everyday life acronym within a few years from now.
Or will the name be changed? "BFR" is actually a Cisco term from about 10 -15 years ago, and relates to a Big Router. However, once they launched it, it got given a boring name.

And "technically" speaking, should it be FBR, as in this usage "F" is always used as a superlative for an adjective, and not as an adjective in itself? (Note difference between "F-enormous dog" and "enormous F-ing dog")

Indeed, whilst we expect the rocket to be amazing (or F-amazing), we do not expect it to attempt procreation.
See this post: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43934.msg1735754#msg1735754

No adjective for the letter 'F'.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jebbo on 10/12/2017 10:08 am
Given the Shotwell interview confirmed a new factory by the port, I was wondering if SpaceX already owns land around there? 

[ wondering about lot ownership maps similar to those in the Boca Chica thread ]

--- Tony
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: nacnud on 10/12/2017 11:25 am
This maybe relevant.

SpaceX wants to double its footprint at the port of Los Angeles (http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/01/31/spacex-wants-to-double-its-footprint-at-the-port-of-los-angeles/)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jebbo on 10/12/2017 11:43 am
I think this is the area in question:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7207373,-118.2777146,1493m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125 (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7207373,-118.2777146,1493m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

And if anyone has a GIS viewer (I'm at work so don't), the full data is downloadable from here:

https://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/2015/07/15/port-of-los-angeles-berths-docks-slips/ (https://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/2015/07/15/port-of-los-angeles-berths-docks-slips/)

From looking at the map and article, I'm not sure there's really the room to build a factory here (or the permission).  So I wonder about nearby areas ...

--- Tony
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: DreamyPickle on 10/12/2017 11:55 am
I think this is the area in question:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7207373,-118.2777146,1493m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125 (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7207373,-118.2777146,1493m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

There seem to be some large empty lots on Signal Street on the peninsula to the east.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jebbo on 10/12/2017 12:00 pm
There seem to be some large empty lots on Signal Street on the peninsula to the east.

Indeed ... but Berths 51-53 I think are on the west side of the east channel.  At least they are if you assume sequential numbering: berth 46 at the south, and SSA marine are berths 54-55 at the north.

Edit: looking closer, I wonder if that long building that houses SSA marine (who look like they only have the northern bit) is actually berths 51-53.

--- Tony
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: nacnud on 10/12/2017 12:08 pm
From the article.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jebbo on 10/12/2017 01:13 pm
Thanks!  That matches the map associated with the Port of Los Angeles permit (I couldn't find it directly from the article above; brain clearly not working today :P ).

The text of the permit is here https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/February%202017/020217_Regular_Agenda_Item_2.pdf (https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/February%202017/020217_Regular_Agenda_Item_2.pdf)

From the wording, I'd say we have to look elsewhere for where they'd build a factory.

--- Tony
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 10/12/2017 02:02 pm
I think that next to Holiday Harbor would be a prime location to build a factory. They could even take the F9 cores directly there as they could fit vertically under the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Holiday+Harbor/@33.7678838,-118.2507696,1832m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m8!1m2!2m1!1sholiday+harbor,+la!3m4!1s0x0:0x7466311cfedeed4a!8m2!3d33.768606!4d-118.2496637
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: JBF on 10/12/2017 02:42 pm
That area between the trolley station and the overflow parking lot looks like a prime location.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: philw1776 on 10/12/2017 02:45 pm
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

Exactly!

folks need to remember that a key SpaceX culture is co-location of R&D with manufacturing.  As someone who ran R&D and put products into manufacturing I have experienced the benefits of co-location and the inefficiencies and developer disconnect with remote manufacturing..  Co-location offers efficient, quick problem resolution, and design in level appreciation of mfg issues by otherwise potentially ivory towerish new product developers.  I don't see CA developers moving to Boca or Michoud, no matter how much less expensive the Real Estate.

I do remain open to the possibility of SpaceX leasing expensive harbor proximate facilities within easy commute distance of present Hawthorne facilities where the engines, electronics, etc. are finally mated and integrated with the airframe/tankage before shipment to Boca and Canaveral.

Reply #7
Thank you, Gwynne
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/12/2017 03:55 pm
According to a Reddit transcript of the Q&A (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/), Shotwell said it would cost $2.5M to move a BFR thru the streets to a port. To them that was too expensive when compared to creating a new manufacturing facility at an L.A. port - an interesting data point.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jebbo on 10/12/2017 03:57 pm
According to a Reddit transcript of the Q&A (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/), Shotwell said it would cost $2.5M to move a BFR thru the streets to a port. To them that was too expensive when compared to creating a new manufacturing facility at an L.A. port - an interesting data point.

Implies they are thinking about a large number of flights. Assuming equipment can be moved, how much does a factory cost to build? [ I have absolutely no idea! ]

--- Tony
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/12/2017 04:01 pm
well the article upthread says 23k/month for space at the port.
And we have 2.4m/trip from shotwell.
Obviously the quote of 32k/mnth is probably just for area to move/store boosters but maybe they could build a HIF.

EDIT: dislexic number for rent.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: speedevil on 10/12/2017 04:59 pm
According to a Reddit transcript of the Q&A (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/), Shotwell said it would cost $2.5M to move a BFR thru the streets to a port. To them that was too expensive when compared to creating a new manufacturing facility at an L.A. port - an interesting data point.

The whole cost may be slightly more complex - for example, it's likely there would be possibly significant lag time between requesting approval for transport and it happening.
Plus, if you might want to wheel the rocket back into the factory to do major stuff to it, there are obvious savings.

$2.5M once may not be an issue. $20M and a few extra months of slip for 4 back and forth trips might be quite a different matter.
The slip may be rather more important.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Negan on 10/12/2017 05:33 pm
I wonder if they'll attempt to tunnel to the location from Hawthorne and create a fast transportation system to the port.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: geza on 10/12/2017 06:04 pm
At least, Shotwell confirmed, that building BFR in Hawthorne was the default option. Consistently with the info that the 9 m was sized for Hawthorne. Obviously, they studied the road transportation option, as we did :-). Now, half-co-locaton. Half an hour drive.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/12/2017 06:08 pm
Why not just assemble at the Seal Beach location where the Saturn SII stages were assembled and shipped? Could even still use Hawthorne facilities for most production.
Because then you're splitting up your workforce, losing much of the advantage SpaceX has built up. You'll get a cultural divide if you have two locations like that. If something doesn't fit or needs rework, you'll have to send it through the city then back, slowing everything down. Better to just move it once when it's fully complete and be done with it.

...also, it doesn't fit with what Musk has actually said or with any other information we have.

And yet......

Other than reaffirming previous data, the only real 'news' seems to be that they are looking to build a new factory for BFR in LA on the water.

So again, Seal beach?

edit: To add on to why it would be ideal, it is a short drive from the Seal Beach campus to the Anaheim landing dock for a barge, about 1.34 miles (2.19 km). It is on the property for the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach so they might have to get permission.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: philw1776 on 10/12/2017 06:59 pm
Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge has lots of empty land for a factory!
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Jim on 10/12/2017 07:29 pm
Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge has lots of empty land for a factory!

that statement has mutually exclusive words.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: vaporcobra on 10/12/2017 07:38 pm
Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge has lots of empty land for a factory!

that statement has mutually exclusive words.

Don't worry, the seals will be luxuriously paid off for their acquiescence.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: clongton on 10/12/2017 08:43 pm
Hmm. Shotwell's wording that the factory would be in LA on the water and close to the launch site seems to rule out Los Angeles being the "LA". ISTM that a better fit for "LA" would be Louisiana. It fits better the sense of what she was saying; on the water - near the launch site (Boca Chica) - in LA (Louisiana abbreviation). What am I missing? Los Angeles certainly fits with "on the water", but does not help with "near the launch site". The barge would have to go thru the Panama Canal to get to Boca Chica. A site in Louisiana (LA) is a better fit to what she said.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: kenny008 on 10/12/2017 08:46 pm
Did she say the word, "LA", or was it just written that way?  Nobody calls Louisiana "LA", just like nobody identifies Washington State by saying "WA".
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/12/2017 08:48 pm
Hmm. Shotwell's wording that the factory would be in LA on the water and close to the launch site seems to rule out Los Angeles being the "LA". ISTM that a better fit for "LA" would be Louisiana. It fits better the sense of what she was saying; on the water - near the launch site (Boca Chica) - in LA (Louisiana abbreviation). What am I missing? Los Angeles certainly fits with "on the water", but does not help with "near the launch site". The barge would have to go thru the Panama Canal to get to Boca Chica. A site in Louisiana (LA) is a better fit to what she said.

No, she said they were looking to build near a port in LA now, and would have more manufacturing sites near the launch sites later.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: clongton on 10/12/2017 08:58 pm
Hmm. Shotwell's wording that the factory would be in LA on the water and close to the launch site seems to rule out Los Angeles being the "LA". ISTM that a better fit for "LA" would be Louisiana. It fits better the sense of what she was saying; on the water - near the launch site (Boca Chica) - in LA (Louisiana abbreviation). What am I missing? Los Angeles certainly fits with "on the water", but does not help with "near the launch site". The barge would have to go thru the Panama Canal to get to Boca Chica. A site in Louisiana (LA) is a better fit to what she said.

No, she said they were looking to build near a port in LA now, and would have more manufacturing sites near the launch sites later.

Yes they are looking to build in Los Angeles now, but this story (quoted up-thread) indicates that space is for receiving "recovered" items.
SpaceX wants to double its footprint at the port of Los Angeles (http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/01/31/spacex-wants-to-double-its-footprint-at-the-port-of-los-angeles/)
See the very first line in the story. It's clearly indicated why they want to build at the port. Doesn't have anything to do with the BFR. It's more for the recovered Dragon spacecraft as well as 1st stages launched from Vandenberg ("to park and handle recovered space equipment").
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/12/2017 09:04 pm
Hmm. Shotwell's wording that the factory would be in LA on the water and close to the launch site seems to rule out Los Angeles being the "LA". ISTM that a better fit for "LA" would be Louisiana. It fits better the sense of what she was saying; on the water - near the launch site (Boca Chica) - in LA (Louisiana abbreviation). What am I missing? Los Angeles certainly fits with "on the water", but does not help with "near the launch site". The barge would have to go thru the Panama Canal to get to Boca Chica. A site in Louisiana (LA) is a better fit to what she said.

No, she said they were looking to build near a port in LA now, and would have more manufacturing sites near the launch sites later.

Yes they are looking to build in Los Angeles now, but this story (quoted up-thread) indicates that space is for receiving "recovered" items.
SpaceX wants to double its footprint at the port of Los Angeles (http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/01/31/spacex-wants-to-double-its-footprint-at-the-port-of-los-angeles/)
See the very first line in the story. It's clearly indicated why they want to build at the port. Doesn't have anything to do with the BFR. It's more for the recovered Dragon spacecraft as well as 1st stages launched from Vandenberg ("to park and handle recovered space equipment").

Shotwell was pretty clear that they will likely build BFR first near the port of LA, and eventually near the launch sites:

Quote
Where will the BFR be built?
We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.


https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/

(Note: not verbatim quote, but notes from audience. Emphasis mine.)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: clongton on 10/12/2017 09:06 pm
Hmm. Shotwell's wording that the factory would be in LA on the water and close to the launch site seems to rule out Los Angeles being the "LA". ISTM that a better fit for "LA" would be Louisiana. It fits better the sense of what she was saying; on the water - near the launch site (Boca Chica) - in LA (Louisiana abbreviation). What am I missing? Los Angeles certainly fits with "on the water", but does not help with "near the launch site". The barge would have to go thru the Panama Canal to get to Boca Chica. A site in Louisiana (LA) is a better fit to what she said.

No, she said they were looking to build near a port in LA now, and would have more manufacturing sites near the launch sites later.

Yes they are looking to build in Los Angeles now, but this story (quoted up-thread) indicates that space is for receiving "recovered" items.
SpaceX wants to double its footprint at the port of Los Angeles (http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/01/31/spacex-wants-to-double-its-footprint-at-the-port-of-los-angeles/)
See the very first line in the story. It's clearly indicated why they want to build at the port. Doesn't have anything to do with the BFR. It's more for the recovered Dragon spacecraft as well as 1st stages launched from Vandenberg ("to park and handle recovered space equipment").

Shotwell was pretty clear that they will likely build BFR first near the port of LA, and eventually near the launch sites:

Quote
Where will the BFR be built?
We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.


https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/

(Note: not verbatim quote, but notes from audience. Emphasis mine.)

So thru the Panama Canal then?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/12/2017 09:13 pm
So thru the Panama Canal then?

That seems the likely way to reach Brownsville from LA.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/12/2017 09:17 pm
It really depends on how much work is involved in manufacturing as opposed to final assembly. It could be that 80% of the value add is done at Hawthorne, and the final assembly and testing at a new location.

Yes, this has been my assumption all along, that the majority of BFR manufacturing would be in Hawthorne, but the the large structures and final assembly would be somewhere else, close to water.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: FinalFrontier on 10/12/2017 09:24 pm
Hmm. Shotwell's wording that the factory would be in LA on the water and close to the launch site seems to rule out Los Angeles being the "LA". ISTM that a better fit for "LA" would be Louisiana. It fits better the sense of what she was saying; on the water - near the launch site (Boca Chica) - in LA (Louisiana abbreviation). What am I missing? Los Angeles certainly fits with "on the water", but does not help with "near the launch site". The barge would have to go thru the Panama Canal to get to Boca Chica. A site in Louisiana (LA) is a better fit to what she said.

No, she said they were looking to build near a port in LA now, and would have more manufacturing sites near the launch sites later.

Yes they are looking to build in Los Angeles now, but this story (quoted up-thread) indicates that space is for receiving "recovered" items.
SpaceX wants to double its footprint at the port of Los Angeles (http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/01/31/spacex-wants-to-double-its-footprint-at-the-port-of-los-angeles/)
See the very first line in the story. It's clearly indicated why they want to build at the port. Doesn't have anything to do with the BFR. It's more for the recovered Dragon spacecraft as well as 1st stages launched from Vandenberg ("to park and handle recovered space equipment").

Shotwell was pretty clear that they will likely build BFR first near the port of LA, and eventually near the launch sites:

Quote
Where will the BFR be built?
We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.


https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/

(Note: not verbatim quote, but notes from audience. Emphasis mine.)

So thru the Panama Canal then?

Panama canal transits are not cheap and for a custom cargo like this they are going to be spending an awful lot shipping these if that is what they end up doing.

Long term it would make alot more sense to build a factory next to the Texas launch facility and roll the things out. But perhaps for some reason they don't want to, or can't, do that yet.

It is doable but they are going to lose a chunk of change paying for that transit. It will have to be a Jones Act operator as well, I will be very interested to see who gets the contract for that. If I had to guess I would say Crowley or KSEA. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/12/2017 09:33 pm
Panama canal transits are not cheap and for a custom cargo like this they are going to be spending an awful lot shipping these if that is what they end up doing.

Long term it would make alot more sense to build a factory next to the Texas launch facility and roll the things out. But perhaps for some reason they don't want to, or can't, do that yet.

It is doable but they are going to lose a chunk of change paying for that transit. It will have to be a Jones Act operator as well, I will be very interested to see who gets the contract for that. If I had to guess I would say Crowley or KSEA.

Shotwell already said they will build BFR manufacturing facilities near their launch sites, but that's longer term.

She said the first BFR manufacturing facility will be in Los Angeles, somewhere near water.  That will presumably allow BFR development engineers to regularly visit the initial BFR manufacturing facility, which should help to speed development.

So back to the original question: Where will BFR be built? 

We know it will be in Los Angeles, somewhere near water, but where?

The article quoted up-thread is interesting, but that site seems pretty focused on storing previously flown F9 first stages.  Would they have enough room to build BFR there?

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/12/2017 09:33 pm
Has anybody considered what the sizes of the pieces of the composite structures are? Wasn't the tank shown as 2 haves (riveted?) together.
So maybe the biggest piece of this thing is not too big to airlift or transport on road.
Then of course assemble at LA port or boca chica.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/12/2017 09:37 pm
The whole cost may be slightly more complex - for example, it's likely there would be possibly significant lag time between requesting approval for transport and it happening.

I wouldn't think this would be an issue. They would know what the production and test schedule is months in advance, and I'm sure they would only have to provide a reasonable amount of advance notice for the cities involved.

Quote
Plus, if you might want to wheel the rocket back into the factory to do major stuff to it, there are obvious savings.

An interesting thought, but because of the type of construction for the BFS & ITS (carbon composite outer construction) I doubt there would be any need to return a stage to the factory. Any repairs would be done in the field or they would make it into a hanger queen.

Quote
$2.5M once may not be an issue. $20M and a few extra months of slip for 4 back and forth trips might be quite a different matter.
The slip may be rather more important.

I tend to take SpaceX at face value with their public declarations, and I think they analyzed the pros and cons of building in Hawthorne vs a factory next to a dock, and with the number of vehicles they plan to make that the one-way cost of transport would end up being more expensive than building a new factory focused just on BFR & ITS vehicle construction.

For instance, if they build four BFR/ITS that would cost $10M to move them if they could build both at the same time and transport both at the same time, but I think it's more likely that they would build them serially, so transporting each BFR and ITS separately would cost $20M total.

Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

So building a new waterside factory nearby would:

- Save $2.5M in transport costs for each BFR and ITS built in Hawthorne
- Cost SpaceX more money to build a BFR and ITS production line since it would not use existing facilities
- Give SpaceX the ability to build Falcon 9's concurrently with BFR and ITS production

Anything else significant?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/12/2017 09:58 pm
Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge has lots of empty land for a factory!

that statement has mutually exclusive words.

And yet, there does appear to be ample commercially zoned empty properties next to the wildlife refuge.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/12/2017 10:07 pm
Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

I believe there's no question that the majority of BFR manufacturing will occur at Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically any sub-assembly that can be road transported without much fuss.

So as they ramp down F9/FH production and ramp up BFR sub-assembly production at Hawthorne, I suspect they'll need a lot more floor space.  The newly acquired Triumph building may be used for that.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/12/2017 10:38 pm

Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

So building a new waterside factory nearby would:

- Save $2.5M in transport costs for each BFR and ITS built in Hawthorne
- Cost SpaceX more money to build a BFR and ITS production line since it would not use existing facilities
- Give SpaceX the ability to build Falcon 9's concurrently with BFR and ITS production

Anything else significant?

9 Meters Diameter will not be a contraint for future vehicles, if for some reason they feel the need to build bigger. But that is only a benefit in the very far future.

I can't say I'm all that surprised they are building BFR at a new facility with access to the water. That always seemed like a simpler, duller and more pragmatic solution than disrupting LA traffic or lifting with giant airships. The company is promising the giant leap of building infrastructire on another planet so the small step of just building rockets at a more practical location seems like a trivial cost in perspective. I presume much of subcomponents of the system will still be built at Hawthorne and integrated at the new facility so it still could share a large amount of resources with the current F9/Dragon lines without forcing abrupt shutdown of the current lines and tooling.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/12/2017 10:46 pm
Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

I believe there's no question that the majority of BFR manufacturing will occur at Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically any sub-assembly that can be road transported without much fuss.

So as they ramp down F9/FH production and ramp up BFR sub-assembly production at Hawthorne, I suspect they'll need a lot more floor space.  The newly acquired Triumph building may be used for that.

If they were going to build the BFR and ITS at the existing Hawthorne building it looked like they would have needed to exit out of the end of the existing Falcon 9 production line - which means they would have needed to move the Falcon 9 production line or box it up. Building the major structures of the BFR and ITS at the new factory means that the Falcon 9 1st and 2nd stage production line does not need to move.

As for Raptor production that should be able to fit on existing or revamped Merlin production lines if they use some form of cell manufacturing. The same for the avionics and other in-house components. Remember they still have to support flying reusable Block 5 Falcon 9's, so adding BFR and ITS products into existing production lines would be advantageous.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: wannamoonbase on 10/12/2017 10:51 pm
Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

I believe there's no question that the majority of BFR manufacturing will occur at Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically any sub-assembly that can be road transported without much fuss.

So as they ramp down F9/FH production and ramp up BFR sub-assembly production at Hawthorne, I suspect they'll need a lot more floor space.  The newly acquired Triumph building may be used for that.


These are going to be huge structures and seems there is a fair amount of hand waving about how to move them from Hawthorne to a port. 
 
Components and sub assemblies could be made in Hawthorne and sent to a coastal assembly area, keeping many of the people and hours of work in existing facilities.

Land and buildings are relatively cheap compared to space ships.  Having a building that can load directly onto a barge will save time, money and greatly reduce handling risks.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: clongton on 10/13/2017 01:17 am
I tend to take SpaceX at face value with their public declarations, and I think they analyzed the pros and cons of building in Hawthorne vs a factory next to a dock, and with the number of vehicles they plan to make that the one-way cost of transport would end up being more expensive than building a new factory focused just on BFR & ITS vehicle construction.

For instance, if they build four BFR/ITS that would cost $10M to move them if they could build both at the same time and transport both at the same time, but I think it's more likely that they would build them serially, so transporting each BFR and ITS separately would cost $20M total.

Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

So building a new waterside factory nearby would:

- Save $2.5M in transport costs for each BFR and ITS built in Hawthorne
- Cost SpaceX more money to build a BFR and ITS production line since it would not use existing facilities
- Give SpaceX the ability to build Falcon 9's concurrently with BFR and ITS production

Anything else significant?

- Add the cost of shipping thru the Panama Canal. That's a significant amount of money.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 10/13/2017 01:19 am
Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

I believe there's no question that the majority of BFR manufacturing will occur at Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically any sub-assembly that can be road transported without much fuss.

So as they ramp down F9/FH production and ramp up BFR sub-assembly production at Hawthorne, I suspect they'll need a lot more floor space.  The newly acquired Triumph building may be used for that.


These are going to be huge structures and seems there is a fair amount of hand waving about how to move them from Hawthorne to a port. 
 
Components and sub assemblies could be made in Hawthorne and sent to a coastal assembly area, keeping many of the people and hours of work in existing facilities.

Land and buildings are relatively cheap compared to space ships.  Having a building that can load directly onto a barge will save time, money and greatly reduce handling risks.
Largest of these "huge structures" are the carbon fiber tanks, prototypes of which were made in Sedro Woolley, WA, a short hop, already  accomplished with a 12 meter tank to the port at Anacortes, from there, to LA via barge.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: wes_wilson on 10/13/2017 01:24 am
I tend to take SpaceX at face value with their public declarations, and I think they analyzed the pros and cons of building in Hawthorne vs a factory next to a dock, and with the number of vehicles they plan to make that the one-way cost of transport would end up being more expensive than building a new factory focused just on BFR & ITS vehicle construction.

For instance, if they build four BFR/ITS that would cost $10M to move them if they could build both at the same time and transport both at the same time, but I think it's more likely that they would build them serially, so transporting each BFR and ITS separately would cost $20M total.

Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

So building a new waterside factory nearby would:

- Save $2.5M in transport costs for each BFR and ITS built in Hawthorne
- Cost SpaceX more money to build a BFR and ITS production line since it would not use existing facilities
- Give SpaceX the ability to build Falcon 9's concurrently with BFR and ITS production

Anything else significant?

- Add the cost of shipping thru the Panama Canal. That's a significant amount of money.

They're proposing point to point transportation with these.  Long term, if that even comes close to working out, they just need to ship to the nearest pad (presumably off the LA coast) and then fly to the others.

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/13/2017 01:26 am
These are going to be huge structures and seems there is a fair amount of hand waving about how to move them from Hawthorne to a port.

Well there was hand-waving (including by me) but Shotwell has cleared that up - moving thru the streets has been deemed to not be the most economic way. There could have been other factors too of course, but that is what she distilled the decision down to.

Quote
Components and sub assemblies could be made in Hawthorne and sent to a coastal assembly area, keeping many of the people and hours of work in existing facilities.

Agreed. It takes a lot to bring up a new factory, so reducing the complexity of it as much as possible is a good idea.

They have production lines well established for engines, electronics, and major structural components that are easy to transport, so keeping them at Hawthorne would be the least disruptive.

Quote
Land and buildings are relatively cheap compared to space ships.  Having a building that can load directly onto a barge will save time, money and greatly reduce handling risks.

Agreed. Submarine manufacturing is a good analogy, such as the new Virginia class fast attack submarine, which is 115m in length and has a 10m beam:
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: clongton on 10/13/2017 01:26 am
I tend to take SpaceX at face value with their public declarations, and I think they analyzed the pros and cons of building in Hawthorne vs a factory next to a dock, and with the number of vehicles they plan to make that the one-way cost of transport would end up being more expensive than building a new factory focused just on BFR & ITS vehicle construction.

For instance, if they build four BFR/ITS that would cost $10M to move them if they could build both at the same time and transport both at the same time, but I think it's more likely that they would build them serially, so transporting each BFR and ITS separately would cost $20M total.

Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

So building a new waterside factory nearby would:

- Save $2.5M in transport costs for each BFR and ITS built in Hawthorne
- Cost SpaceX more money to build a BFR and ITS production line since it would not use existing facilities
- Give SpaceX the ability to build Falcon 9's concurrently with BFR and ITS production

Anything else significant?

- Add the cost of shipping thru the Panama Canal. That's a significant amount of money.

They're proposing point to point transportation with these.  Long term, if that even comes close to working out, they just need to ship to the nearest pad (presumably off the LA coast) and then fly to the others.

SpaceX is not going to build an offshore launch facility just to fly the BFR to its launch facility.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/13/2017 01:34 am
- Add the cost of shipping thru the Panama Canal. That's a significant amount of money.

OK, which would be eliminated once they start building at a launch site at some point in the future - and that could be the Boca Chica launch site, since Shotwell said that will be dedicated to the BFR/ITS now (previously would have also launched commercial Falcon 9 payloads).

The BFR and ITS are not very big payloads though (9m wide), since the standard Panamax lock is 33.53m wide, so even setting a set side-by-side they wouldn't take up too much room on a transport ship, so maybe they could be carried on top of a less-than-full-load container ship?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/13/2017 03:05 am
From someone that lives and works in the area, if Elon thinks it's hard to drive to Hawthorn from his home in Brentwood, he's going to hate it, even more, driving further south to the LA Harbor area (add 30 more minutes).  The additional drive to Seal Beach (to the area near where the old Rockwell Saturn second stage plant) would add an additional 30 min.

Seal Beach
 (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7565794,-118.0805658,329m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

My bet is that Gwynne Shotwell will be knocking on the door of whoever owns or leases the area where the Sea Launch plant is: 
HERE: (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7435821,-118.2240939,229m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/13/2017 03:39 am
My bet is that Gwynne Shotwell will be knocking on the door of whoever owns or leases the area where the Sea Launch plant is: 
HERE: (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7435821,-118.2240939,229m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

That would be the Russians (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43871.msg1730041#msg1730041).
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: darkenfast on 10/13/2017 06:32 am
The whole cost may be slightly more complex - for example, it's likely there would be possibly significant lag time between requesting approval for transport and it happening.

I wouldn't think this would be an issue. They would know what the production and test schedule is months in advance, and I'm sure they would only have to provide a reasonable amount of advance notice for the cities involved.

Quote
Plus, if you might want to wheel the rocket back into the factory to do major stuff to it, there are obvious savings.

An interesting thought, but because of the type of construction for the BFS & ITS (carbon composite outer construction) I doubt there would be any need to return a stage to the factory. Any repairs would be done in the field or they would make it into a hanger queen.

Quote
$2.5M once may not be an issue. $20M and a few extra months of slip for 4 back and forth trips might be quite a different matter.
The slip may be rather more important.

I tend to take SpaceX at face value with their public declarations, and I think they analyzed the pros and cons of building in Hawthorne vs a factory next to a dock, and with the number of vehicles they plan to make that the one-way cost of transport would end up being more expensive than building a new factory focused just on BFR & ITS vehicle construction.

For instance, if they build four BFR/ITS that would cost $10M to move them if they could build both at the same time and transport both at the same time, but I think it's more likely that they would build them serially, so transporting each BFR and ITS separately would cost $20M total.

Another advantage of building the BFR & ITS at another facility is that the Falcon 9 production line won't need to be interrupted, so the pressure on SpaceX for the transition would be lessened considerably - any failure of a BFR or ITS would not have a material impact on their ongoing Falcon 9 operations.

So building a new waterside factory nearby would:

- Save $2.5M in transport costs for each BFR and ITS built in Hawthorne
- Cost SpaceX more money to build a BFR and ITS production line since it would not use existing facilities
- Give SpaceX the ability to build Falcon 9's concurrently with BFR and ITS production

Anything else significant?

Another factor is politics.  If a local city council has a beef with SpaceX or Musk or whatever, they would have a hard time banning regular traffic between the Hawthorne factory and wherever.  But the transportation of something the size of the BFR requires a lot of local cooperation that could be withdrawn at the whim of a local politician or pressure group.  And that would be VERY expensive after you've committed to the system of moving the BFR.  If land is leased correctly or purchased outright at the port, SpaceX will be in a much more secure position.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: JamesH65 on 10/13/2017 09:22 am
From someone that lives and works in the area, if Elon thinks it's hard to drive to Hawthorn from his home in Brentwood, he's going to hate it, even more, driving further south to the LA Harbor area (add 30 more minutes).  The additional drive to Seal Beach (to the area near where the old Rockwell Saturn second stage plant) would add an additional 30 min.

Seal Beach
 (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7565794,-118.0805658,329m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

My bet is that Gwynne Shotwell will be knocking on the door of whoever owns or leases the area where the Sea Launch plant is: 
HERE: (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7435821,-118.2240939,229m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

Musk can afford a helicopter for that trip. Perhaps even for employees who need to shuttle back and forth from their sites.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/13/2017 11:33 am
So is marina del ray not good for barges? It is the closest "port" to hawthorne.
Link to Google Maps (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marina+Del+Rey/@33.9710363,-118.4553761,851m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x80c2a32a5a2254c1:0xaa6a3477bfa172cc!2sBrentwood,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90049!3b1!8m2!3d34.0521011!4d-118.4732464!3m4!1s0x80c2b0776a924087:0x9a864ed26711a596!8m2!3d33.9710363!4d-118.4531821)

It looks like it is all small pleasure boats and houses. The coast guard has a station there.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/13/2017 11:47 am

- Add the cost of shipping thru the Panama Canal. That's a significant amount of money.
Is it?

What I'm missing from this conversation is volumes. How many BFRs do they plan on building? Given that they're reusable, initially they might build 10 and shipping that through the Panama canal is not that expensive.

If on the other hand they expect the BFRs to be absent for 2 years on a Mars trip, then they'll need a lot more. If BFRs need to come back to a factory for refurbishment after a few dozen launches - then again, there's a lot ore transport.

I don't think it makes sense to build the first ones in Hawthorne, and then move all the tooling down to Brownsville for increased volume.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: hkultala on 10/13/2017 11:50 am

SpaceX is not going to build an offshore launch facility just to fly the BFR to its launch facility.

... but what about building it to also launch satellites to polar orbit, and also later act as the first bfr point-to-point travel airport?

coast of LA is a good place for both.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: philw1776 on 10/13/2017 01:41 pm
From someone that lives and works in the area, if Elon thinks it's hard to drive to Hawthorn from his home in Brentwood, he's going to hate it, even more, driving further south to the LA Harbor area (add 30 more minutes).  The additional drive to Seal Beach (to the area near where the old Rockwell Saturn second stage plant) would add an additional 30 min.

Seal Beach
 (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7565794,-118.0805658,329m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

My bet is that Gwynne Shotwell will be knocking on the door of whoever owns or leases the area where the Sea Launch plant is: 
HERE: (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7435821,-118.2240939,229m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

Musk can afford a helicopter for that trip. Perhaps even for employees who need to shuttle back and forth from their sites.

Makes sense.  I worked as an engineer for DEC in the 70s.  We had helicopter service between plants.  Never took it though. It flew directly over my house in metrowest Boston suburbs.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RoboGoofers on 10/13/2017 05:26 pm
They're proposing point to point transportation with these.  Long term, if that even comes close to working out, they just need to ship to the nearest pad (presumably off the LA coast) and then fly to the others.

The BFS is point to point, not the booster. That returns to the launch site.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/13/2017 09:25 pm
So is marina del ray not good for barges? It is the closest "port" to hawthorne.
Link to Google Maps (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marina+Del+Rey/@33.9710363,-118.4553761,851m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x80c2a32a5a2254c1:0xaa6a3477bfa172cc!2sBrentwood,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90049!3b1!8m2!3d34.0521011!4d-118.4732464!3m4!1s0x80c2b0776a924087:0x9a864ed26711a596!8m2!3d33.9710363!4d-118.4531821)

It looks like it is all small pleasure boats and houses. The coast guard has a station there.

It's Marina del Rey.  There was a previous discussion above with using this site to put the BFR on a barge after transport from Hawthorn via surface streets.  The Marina was utilized to bring the Shuttle Tank from Louisiana to a local museum.  But since Gwen (SpaceX) is now interested in building the BFR at a local port, this makes Marina del Rey out of the question now.  Turn the clock 20 years, the nearby Spruce Goose hangar, now used by Google, could have been a big enough location for BFR manufacturing with easy transport to the Marina to a barge.

The Marina del Rey area is booked up now (many business parcels were recently leased to long-term high paying tenents) bunches of new condo, homes and apartments to support the high-tech sector here.  Any open spaces you see on Google around the Marina del Rey area are devoted to Wildlife Refuge.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: biosehnsucht on 10/13/2017 10:49 pm
What's Google using the Spruce Goose facility for? Maybe they'd be willing to sell it to SpaceX?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/14/2017 12:20 am
What's Google using the Spruce Goose facility for? Maybe they'd be willing to sell it to SpaceX?

Since google is a major investor in spacex...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/14/2017 04:24 am
What's Google using the Spruce Goose facility for? Maybe they'd be willing to sell it to SpaceX?

see here:  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spruce-goose-hangar-sold-20161223-story.html
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: geza on 10/14/2017 02:40 pm
So building a new waterside factory nearby would:

- Save $2.5M in transport costs for each BFR and ITS built in Hawthorne
- Cost SpaceX more money to build a BFR and ITS production line since it would not use existing facilities
- Give SpaceX the ability to build Falcon 9's concurrently with BFR and ITS production

Anything else significant?
What is the ballpark number for the cost of the new facility at the port?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/14/2017 02:45 pm
What's Google using the Spruce Goose facility for? Maybe they'd be willing to sell it to SpaceX?

see here:  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spruce-goose-hangar-sold-20161223-story.html
Well? What are they using it for?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: philw1776 on 10/14/2017 02:46 pm
What's Google using the Spruce Goose facility for? Maybe they'd be willing to sell it to SpaceX?

see here:  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spruce-goose-hangar-sold-20161223-story.html
Well? What are they using it for?

Article describes the uses.  Google campus with high rises inside.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: su27k on 10/14/2017 02:48 pm
So building a new waterside factory nearby would:

- Save $2.5M in transport costs for each BFR and ITS built in Hawthorne
- Cost SpaceX more money to build a BFR and ITS production line since it would not use existing facilities
- Give SpaceX the ability to build Falcon 9's concurrently with BFR and ITS production

Anything else significant?

Would it also enable them to do structural testing on water, similar to the testing they did to the 12m tank? What about a structural test stand? Not having to ship the tank all the way to Texas or the east coast would save a lot of time during the early trial and error phase.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/15/2017 02:20 am
What is the ballpark number for the cost of the new facility at the port?

Depends.

They could lease an existing building, or they could build a new one.

Gwynne said their long-term plans are to build BFR near the launch site.  This implies building BFR near an L.A. seaport is a short-term solution.  In this case, leasing space may make more sense.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 10/15/2017 02:38 pm
What is the ballpark number for the cost of the new facility at the port?

Depends.

They could lease an existing building, or they could build a new one.

Gwynne said their long-term plans are to build BFR near the launch site.  This implies building BFR near an L.A. seaport is a short-term solution.  In this case, leasing space may make more sense.
Presumably SpaceX would want to launch BFR from Vandenberg at some point in the future as they have calculated that BFR will be cheaper per flight than a F9 launch. They will still need Vandenberg for polar launches. Subsequently it would be in their interest keep a factory on the West Coast (besides the obvious benefit of having so much engineering talent already built up in LA).

Building BFRs in LA Harbor and shipping to Vandenberg is currently problematic. From what I can tell the nearest port to Vandenberg is Santa Barbara Harbor. Moving these 9 meter diameter spaceships and cores from Santa Barbara Harbor to VAFB will not happen.

One option for SpaceX is to eventually move their BFR factory near Vandenberg Village. Another option is to build a really large pier out near Surf Beach or Wall Beach so they can roll the stages right into VAFB. I think this would be a lot cheaper option than moving the BFR production line to Vandenberg Village. This would also provide the benefit of being able to supply both coasts from LA Harbor factory. Having the factory in LA Harbor has lots of other advantages.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: eriblo on 10/15/2017 03:52 pm
What is the ballpark number for the cost of the new facility at the port?

Depends.

They could lease an existing building, or they could build a new one.

Gwynne said their long-term plans are to build BFR near the launch site.  This implies building BFR near an L.A. seaport is a short-term solution.  In this case, leasing space may make more sense.
Presumably SpaceX would want to launch BFR from Vandenberg at some point in the future as they have calculated that BFR will be cheaper per flight than a F9 launch. They will still need Vandenberg for polar launches. Subsequently it would be in their interest keep a factory on the West Coast (besides the obvious benefit of having so much engineering talent already built up in LA).

Building BFRs in LA Harbor and shipping to Vandenberg is currently problematic. From what I can tell the nearest port to Vandenberg is Santa Barbara Harbor. Moving these 9 meter diameter spaceships and cores from Santa Barbara Harbor to VAFB will not happen.

One option for SpaceX is to eventually move their BFR factory near Vandenberg Village. Another option is to build a really large pier out near Surf Beach or Wall Beach so they can roll the stages right into VAFB. I think this would be a lot cheaper option than moving the BFR production line to Vandenberg Village. This would also provide the benefit of being able to supply both coasts from LA Harbor factory. Having the factory in LA Harbor has lots of other advantages.
Shipping directly to Vandenberg is probably doable with relatively minor modifications, the launch pad is a much larger item.
http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/736948/delta-mariner-docks-at-vandenberg/
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: guckyfan on 10/15/2017 04:53 pm
Shipping directly to Vandenberg is probably doable with relatively minor modifications, the launch pad is a much larger item.

To replace all Falcon launches and to serve the Airforce EELV 2 contract they need a pad at Vandenberg.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: freddo411 on 10/15/2017 07:10 pm
What is the ballpark number for the cost of the new facility at the port?

Depends.

They could lease an existing building, or they could build a new one.

Gwynne said their long-term plans are to build BFR near the launch site.  This implies building BFR near an L.A. seaport is a short-term solution.  In this case, leasing space may make more sense.
Presumably SpaceX would want to launch BFR from Vandenberg at some point in the future as they have calculated that BFR will be cheaper per flight than a F9 launch. They will still need Vandenberg for polar launches. Subsequently it would be in their interest keep a factory on the West Coast (besides the obvious benefit of having so much engineering talent already built up in LA).

Building BFRs in LA Harbor and shipping to Vandenberg is currently problematic. From what I can tell the nearest port to Vandenberg is Santa Barbara Harbor. Moving these 9 meter diameter spaceships and cores from Santa Barbara Harbor to VAFB will not happen.

One option for SpaceX is to eventually move their BFR factory near Vandenberg Village. Another option is to build a really large pier out near Surf Beach or Wall Beach so they can roll the stages right into VAFB. I think this would be a lot cheaper option than moving the BFR production line to Vandenberg Village. This would also provide the benefit of being able to supply both coasts from LA Harbor factory. Having the factory in LA Harbor has lots of other advantages.
Shipping directly to Vandenberg is probably doable with relatively minor modifications, the launch pad is a much larger item.
http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/736948/delta-mariner-docks-at-vandenberg/

That boat ramp is extremely difficult to see on Google maps.   Here it is:  https://goo.gl/maps/DnAporUnYF52   

Very primitive landing area.   At least there's nothing in the way
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: mme on 10/15/2017 07:21 pm
From someone that lives and works in the area, if Elon thinks it's hard to drive to Hawthorn from his home in Brentwood, he's going to hate it, even more, driving further south to the LA Harbor area (add 30 more minutes).  The additional drive to Seal Beach (to the area near where the old Rockwell Saturn second stage plant) would add an additional 30 min.

Seal Beach
 (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7565794,-118.0805658,329m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

My bet is that Gwynne Shotwell will be knocking on the door of whoever owns or leases the area where the Sea Launch plant is: 
HERE: (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Outer+Harbor%2FBerth+46/@33.7435821,-118.2240939,229m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd37bf38979e7b:0x9157079449c6a915!8m2!3d33.7149875!4d-118.2751125)

Musk can afford a helicopter for that trip. Perhaps even for employees who need to shuttle back and forth from their sites.
Maybe a joint venture for the Boring Company and another of his companies that shall remain nameless?

OK, probably not as renting a helicopter and pilot full-time has got to be a lot cheaper.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Semmel on 10/15/2017 08:16 pm
If they have to build a new launch pad anyway, why would they go to Vandenberg? Why not build a new launch facility like Boca Chica on the West Coast? I wouldn't be surprised if that happens to avoid launch conflicts or conflicts in general with the military operations at Vandenberg.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: guckyfan on 10/15/2017 08:46 pm
If they have to build a new launch pad anyway, why would they go to Vandenberg? Why not build a new launch facility like Boca Chica on the West Coast? I wouldn't be surprised if that happens to avoid launch conflicts or conflicts in general with the military operations at Vandenberg.

I am sure the Airforce EELV 2 contract specifies Vandenberg.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/15/2017 08:51 pm
Probably offshore platform for the west coast if Vandenberg can't support it.
Anybody know of existing platforms on the west coast?

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/15/2017 09:16 pm
Probably offshore platform for the west coast if Vandenberg can't support it.
Anybody know of existing platforms on the west coast?



There all being used:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1RiqLVRpcC0O2l9hDlj570IPEqcU&hl=en&ll=34.08871737341191%2C-119.42296099999999&z=8

This portable one is not being used:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sea+Launch+Co/@33.7448453,-118.2251193,139m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x8b433c7ce8ff4c37!8m2!3d33.743406!4d-118.223933
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/17/2017 07:14 am
What is the ballpark number for the cost of the new facility at the port?

Depends.

They could lease an existing building, or they could build a new one.

Gwynne said their long-term plans are to build BFR near the launch site.  This implies building BFR near an L.A. seaport is a short-term solution.  In this case, leasing space may make more sense.
Radical idea: Build a BFR assembly and service "facility" on a barge. There might be just enough room in LA Port shown (That East Channel looks 100m wide and 700m long - there's more room there than there is on land). Then at some point, the barge can be moved to Brownsville through the Panama canal.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: speedevil on 10/17/2017 01:39 pm
Radical idea: Build a BFR assembly and service "facility" on a barge. There might be just enough room in LA Port shown (That East Channel looks 100m wide and 700m long - there's more room there than there is on land). Then at some point, the barge can be moved to Brownsville through the Panama canal.
Of all the locations for a factory that won't happen, this one won't happen the most.

The new panama canal limits are ~49m*366m. BFR is ~9m*58m. You really don't want to be working in a facility where you can't turn the rocket round.

49m wide is only really wide enough to fit three rockets in longways while working on them.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jpo234 on 10/17/2017 01:51 pm
Radical idea: Build a BFR assembly and service "facility" on a barge. There might be just enough room in LA Port shown (That East Channel looks 100m wide and 700m long - there's more room there than there is on land). Then at some point, the barge can be moved to Brownsville through the Panama canal.
Of all the locations for a factory that won't happen, this one won't happen the most.

The new panama canal limits are ~49m*366m. BFR is ~9m*58m. You really don't want to be working in a facility where you can't turn the rocket round.

49m wide is only really wide enough to fit three rockets in longways while working on them.

Well, you can always offload from the assembly barge to a real freighter. But I agree, won't happen.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/20/2017 09:29 am
Radical idea: Build a BFR assembly and service "facility" on a barge. There might be just enough room in LA Port shown (That East Channel looks 100m wide and 700m long - there's more room there than there is on land). Then at some point, the barge can be moved to Brownsville through the Panama canal.
Of all the locations for a factory that won't happen, this one won't happen the most.

The new panama canal limits are ~49m*366m. BFR is ~9m*58m. You really don't want to be working in a facility where you can't turn the rocket round.

49m wide is only really wide enough to fit three rockets in longways while working on them.

Ships are built in dry docks and never turned around. Aircraft are built in factories and can only be turned through 1 axis. A rocket would also be turnable through 1 axis.

A floating BFR assembly point could be about 200m x 30m. Assembling one BFR at a time (with most of the work at Hawthorne or other subcontractors)

That size of factory won't fit on the plot of land indicated up post, but could easily fit in the harbour channel.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/20/2017 09:50 am
That size of factory won't fit on the plot of land indicated up post...

Which plot of land do you mean?  At least 3 have been mentioned up-thread.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/20/2017 10:29 pm
That size of factory won't fit on the plot of land indicated up post...

Which plot of land do you mean?  At least 3 have been mentioned up-thread.

Dave didn't I read above that the area SpaceX is interested is in the area highlighted in Red?

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 10/21/2017 06:58 pm
I'd only saw the area marked in Yellow, which is too narrow to turn around a BFR - though I still don't see why you would want to turn it around.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 10/23/2017 01:41 pm
I'd only saw the area marked in Yellow, which is too narrow to turn around a BFR - though I still don't see why you would want to turn it around.

Isn't that where they currently dock JRTI?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: nacnud on 10/23/2017 01:44 pm
Yep, it was the only story I could find on SpaceX and LA port, but I thought it was relevant.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Jim on 10/24/2017 07:04 pm

Building BFRs in LA Harbor and shipping to Vandenberg is currently problematic. From what I can tell the nearest port to Vandenberg is Santa Barbara Harbor. Moving these 9 meter diameter spaceships and cores from Santa Barbara Harbor to VAFB will not happen.


Really?  How did Shuttle ET's get to Vandenberg?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/24/2017 07:45 pm

Building BFRs in LA Harbor and shipping to Vandenberg is currently problematic. From what I can tell the nearest port to Vandenberg is Santa Barbara Harbor. Moving these 9 meter diameter spaceships and cores from Santa Barbara Harbor to VAFB will not happen.


Really?  How did Shuttle ET's get to Vandenberg?
A sea port was created to receive the barge carrying the ET and as well the tugs bringing back the boosters. As far as I know those facilities (PORT) are in use by the Coast Guard as well as being used by SpaceX ASDS to return the booster back to the launch site.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/24/2017 08:03 pm
A sea port was created to receive the barge carrying the ET and as well the tugs bringing back the boosters. As far as I know those facilities (PORT) are in use by the Coast Guard as well as being used by SpaceX ASDS to return the booster back to the launch site.

Must not be very big, since I didn't notice them on a satellite view of the coastline. Any idea where it is/was?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: nacnud on 10/24/2017 08:32 pm
Here? https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@34.555894,-120.6082481,1044m/data=!3m1!1e3
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/24/2017 11:58 pm
Here?

Correct and here is a video example of a core stage unloading operations at this port....

Delta Mariner Time Lapse Nov 5, 2014

30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB
Published on Nov 12, 2014

Time-lapse video of the cargo ship MV Delta Mariner arriving, offloading, and departing the Vandenberg AFB dock on Nov. 5, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The MV Delta Mariner made its way from a production facility in Decatur, Ala., to deliver a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket, scheduled to launch in 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMGCcVqACZ4?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMGCcVqACZ4
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/27/2017 04:16 am

Building BFRs in LA Harbor and shipping to Vandenberg is currently problematic. From what I can tell the nearest port to Vandenberg is Santa Barbara Harbor. Moving these 9 meter diameter spaceships and cores from Santa Barbara Harbor to VAFB will not happen.


Really?  How did Shuttle ET's get to Vandenberg?
A sea port was created to receive the barge carrying the ET and as well the tugs bringing back the boosters. As far as I know those facilities (PORT) are in use by the Coast Guard as well as being used by SpaceX ASDS to return the booster back to the launch site.

Port Hueneme, near Oxnard. Carried by a transporter onto the base.

This article is mostly correct on the subject:
The Space Shuttle’s Military Launch Complex In California That Never Was (https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-space-shuttle-s-military-launch-complex-in-californ-1710303170)

add:

More useful:


Currently used  to offload from the Delta Mariner:
Vandenberg South Harbot (http://toshinyrails.com/?p=860)

(I can't find the pile of documentation that referred to the sequencing of the program at Vandenberg, so I've relied on faulty memory - I can remember better the details of the ALT tests because it involved me directly, and I was rather frakked off with a certain unpleasant AF general who didn't believe in automated landings by software. IIRC it went into port, was prepared for debarkation, and then towed by tug via barge to a bunch of pilings and ramp that was called a harbor. Four of them this way, later out.)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/27/2017 04:52 am

Building BFRs in LA Harbor and shipping to Vandenberg is currently problematic. From what I can tell the nearest port to Vandenberg is Santa Barbara Harbor. Moving these 9 meter diameter spaceships and cores from Santa Barbara Harbor to VAFB will not happen.


Really?  How did Shuttle ET's get to Vandenberg?
A sea port was created to receive the barge carrying the ET and as well the tugs bringing back the boosters. As far as I know those facilities (PORT) are in use by the Coast Guard as well as being used by SpaceX ASDS to return the booster back to the launch site.

Port Hueneme, near Oxnard. Carried by a transporter onto the base.


BFR carried from Port Hueneme to VAFB??.  I don't think so.  I travel that route a lot.  State 101/1 is the only route and there are way too many very old and very low bridges along the way let alone the mountain tunnel just north of Gaviota Beach.  Port Hueneme is a great port for transport of equipment for missile testing at Point Magu NAS.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 10/27/2017 12:04 pm
That size of factory won't fit on the plot of land indicated up post...

Which plot of land do you mean?  At least 3 have been mentioned up-thread.

Dave didn't I read above that the area SpaceX is interested is in the area highlighted in Red?
SpaceX is doubling their footprint at the Port of LA already. However the new area is just north of their current spot. This will be for Falcon 9 operations.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 10/27/2017 02:00 pm
SpaceX is doubling their footprint at the Port of LA already. However the new area is just north of their current spot. This will be for Falcon 9 operations.

Parcel 6 looks peculiar; 72 sqft in the middle of the road divider.
Is it known/plausible that this is possibly an achor point for a guy wire when a returned booster is sitting in its fixed stand?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/27/2017 09:56 pm
here is a link search for additional information on the Los Angeles Port Authority website:

https://www.portoflosangeles.org/idx_search.asp?q=spacex

A question for Nydoc, a couple of the pictures you provided looks like it came from a video.  Can you provide that to us and you have a link to it?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: deruch on 10/28/2017 06:37 am
SpaceX is doubling their footprint at the Port of LA already. However the new area is just north of their current spot. This will be for Falcon 9 operations.

Parcel 6 looks peculiar; 72 sqft in the middle of the road divider.
Is it known/plausible that this is possibly an achor point for a guy wire when a returned booster is sitting in its fixed stand?
Yes.  That's what it is for.  From the amendment:
https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/February%202017/020217_Regular_Agenda_Item_2_Transmittal_2.pdf

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/29/2017 11:11 am
link (https://www.google.com/maps/place/4755+Alla+Rd,+Marina+Del+Rey,+CA+90292/@33.9832082,-118.4376899,2090m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c2ba79abd2b36b:0x845496c51968c25a!8m2!3d33.983037!4d-118.430731)

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-marina-del-rey-office-lease-playa-vista/

Damn close to a port...
Just a few bridges in the way.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 10/29/2017 03:19 pm
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-marina-del-rey-office-lease-playa-vista/

Damn close to a port...
Just a few bridges in the way.

I live just two blocks away from that building.  It's not that big.  It was a former telemarketer center.  It's a bit smaller than a Home Depot and not as high roof line.  Talk here that it will be a Telesa Model 3 distribution point for the Santa Monica store or customer service center for them.  I'll keep you posted as I drive by that building daily.  P.S. There are no bridges between there and the Marina del Rey port. ;)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/29/2017 08:42 pm
From what I understand, Tesla and SpaceX are totally separate companies.  Different investors.  One is public, the other private VC.

The only similarity is the man at the top.

As an example of the difference, SpaceX's relationship with Texas is very good, while Tesla is basically blocked from selling in Texas.

Elon has to wear different hats.

So a building that's leased by Tesla probably wouldn't be used to build BFR.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: docmordrid on 10/30/2017 06:17 am
On the other hand, there is some level  of cross pollination going on between Tesla and SpaceX,

https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/02/spacex-helped-tesla-with-a-huge-headache-in-its-cars/

It wouldn't surprise me one little bit to see Tesla have its own facility for developing SpaceX motorized devices,  robots, and other vehicles.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 10/30/2017 11:20 am
On the other hand, there is some level  of cross pollination going on between Tesla and SpaceX,

https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/02/spacex-helped-tesla-with-a-huge-headache-in-its-cars/

It wouldn't surprise me one little bit to see Tesla have its own facility for developing SpaceX motorized devices,  robots, and other vehicles.

Sharing ideas is one thing.  Sharing cash is another.

There are many cases where different companies have some meetings and share ideas.

But to have a facility that's leased by Tesla and used by SpaceX, I'm sure some Tesla share holders wouldn't be happy about that.

In any case, as catdlr says, the facility in question doesn't appear to be big enough to build BFR.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: aero on 10/30/2017 01:41 pm
It's a real stretch but Tesla sub-lease to SpaceX might be an option. But Why?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 10/30/2017 01:45 pm
here is a link search for additional information on the Los Angeles Port Authority website:

https://www.portoflosangeles.org/idx_search.asp?q=spacex

A question for Nydoc, a couple of the pictures you provided looks like it came from a video.  Can you provide that to us and you have a link to it?
Certainly. Videos of board meetings and planning commission meetings for the Port of Los Angeles are here: https://www.portoflosangeles.org/commission/videos.asp

You can click the "Audio/Video" link for the Feb 2, 2017 board meeting. In the pop-up window you can click in the bottom left on the 2nd resolution item to jump to the appropriate time stamp (should be about 1:39:00 in the video).

This isn't the only board meeting video where SpaceX is discussed. You can find other relevant dates if you're interested by doing a search like this one: https://www.google.com/search?q=spacex+site%3Aportoflosangeles.org
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 11/10/2017 06:16 pm
https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/November%202017/111617_Regular_Agenda_Item_I_Transmittal_4.pdf

I'm not sure what this tent would be for. Thoughts?

Page 27 of the Terminal Island Land Use Plan shows the area as "Not Used"
https://www.portoflosangeles.org/planning/Terminal_Island_Land_Use_Plan.pdf
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RedLineTrain on 11/10/2017 07:47 pm
Page 27 of the Terminal Island Land Use Plan shows the area as "Not Used"
https://www.portoflosangeles.org/planning/Terminal_Island_Land_Use_Plan.pdf

Isn't that the area marked 59, "NAVY RESERVE CENTER - FORMER SITE", a "short-term opportunity area"?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 11/10/2017 07:56 pm
Page 27 of the Terminal Island Land Use Plan shows the area as "Not Used"
https://www.portoflosangeles.org/planning/Terminal_Island_Land_Use_Plan.pdf

Isn't that the area marked 59, "NAVY RESERVE CENTER - FORMER SITE", a "short-term opportunity area"?
You're right. I was misreading the numbers.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RedLineTrain on 11/10/2017 08:33 pm
Nice find.  Looks like a plot with just short of a million square feet near the water.  A nice plot for a rocket factory.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: meberbs on 11/10/2017 08:51 pm
The planning document has 3 options it discussed, and for some of them, that area is color coded "Maritime support (no berth)" It also has a text label in one case of "trucking support." Going back through some historical images on TerraServer, it looks like starting around 2015, the lot at that location has been full of shipping containers.

The recent images show that at sometime between May 2017 and July 2017, the containers were cleared out and it now appears to be a (lightly used) parking lot.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 11/12/2017 10:23 pm
Quote
CDP No. 17-13 SpaceX - Storage Tent and Fencing at 801 S. Reeves Avenue on Terminal Island

CDP No.17-13 (Transmittal 4) allows for the erection of a 20,000-square-foot tent for storage and a 6-foot tall perimeter fence. A new Space Assignment No. 17-34 will be issued to SpaceX for use of this property as outlined in APP No. 170920-131.

The Environmental Management Division has completed an EA Exemption to assess the potential environmental impacts of the proposed dumpster enclosure.

The estimated project cost is $500,000 and will be paid by SpaceX.
https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/November%202017/111617_Regular_Agenda_Item_I.pdf
https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/November%202017/111617_Regular_Agenda_Item_I_Transmittal_2.pdf

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 11/12/2017 11:01 pm
The area in question, circled in red, from the above overhead map:
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 12/01/2017 01:55 pm
Looking back at a transcript of how Gwynne answered this question:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote
Where will the BFR be built?
We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

I now notice that she used the phrase "by the water", as opposed to "by the ocean" or "at a port".

This got me to thinking, maybe SpaceX is building BFR along some river or estuary that leads to the ocean.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: D_Dom on 12/01/2017 02:58 pm
Quote from: catdlr
The area in question, circled in red, from the above overhead map:

Drive by everyday and have been watching that location as the tent is erected. Maybe I can snap a photo at lunchtime. I had no idea it was SpaceX putting it up.

Wonder what a "short term opportunity area" means...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 12/01/2017 05:14 pm
Wonder what a "short term opportunity area" means...

If I remember correctly, someone up-thread said this would be used for storing previously flown Falcon 9 boosters.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: D_Dom on 12/01/2017 10:08 pm
I get that, mostly curious what the port planning commission means. Maybe a long term plan for this property that precludes permanent construction?

 Many thanks to all who provided links, interesting reading.

My buddy grabbed this picture from the opposite direction of the streetview image above. This metal skeleton went up yesterday, expect it will be completed soon. behind the wall is a building that had various tenants over the years, saw HVAC tech walking around when we drove by


Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 12/14/2017 04:21 pm
Wonder what a "short term opportunity area" means...

If I remember correctly, someone up-thread said this would be used for storing previously flown Falcon 9 boosters.
I think you're thinking of the 35000 s.f. of land and 77000 s.f. of water that are being added to SpaceX's permit near berths 51 and 52.

Quote
Backqround: On January 7,2016, the Board approved RP 15-19 to SpaceX for the use
of 35,000 s.f. of land and 77,000 s.f. of water at Berths 51 and 52 along Miner Street in
San Pedro. RP 15-19 allowed for: berthing rights for the Marmac landing barge and
auxiliary vessels; construction of landside improvements including the installation of
rocket support pedestals on a concrete pad; and installation of temporary perimeter
fencing, an office trailer, a guard shack and portable restrooms. SpaceX's premises are
utilized to berth vessels that recover expended rockets and capsules from over 100
miles offshore and return the respective equipment for land based transportation to
various locations.
ln response to the Board's concern regarding insurance limits and coverage under selfinsurance,
the First Amendment to RP 15-19 increased insurance requirements to
provide superior insurance coverage, thereby reducing the Harbor Department's
financial risk exposure arising from SpaceX's operations.
The Second Amendment to RP 15-19 increased permit premises primarily at Berth 53
and adjusted compensation correspondingly. The additional areas provided SpaceX
with access to a wider area such that it can conduct its operations more safely and
efficiently, and also reduce the length of time that Miner Street is shut down, thereby
lessening the impact of SpaceX operations on neighboring tenants. A provision was
also added to allow the Harbor Department to be reimbursed for expenses incurred as a
result of the Tenant's operations such as Port Police fees (escort, street closures, etc.);
Construction & Maintenance costs (placement of k-rails, plumbing and electrical
services, etc.); Engineering fees (inspection fees, etc.); rental fees for use of additional
areas (staging for media, parking, etc.); and other related. costs.
SpaceX has conducted five rocket and capsule recoveries since 2016. On November
15, 2017, SpaceX submitted an application for additional premises in order to
accommodate the MA/ Mr. Steven, a 205-foot long vessel dedicated to recovering the
fairing portion of rockets which protect the spacecraft and reduce drag during flight.
No additional hazardous materials will be brought to the Port. The extended area will
allow a better layout for its operations and allow SpaceX to remove equipment on top of
their sea vans as much as possible, and better contain their equipment behind the
perimeter fencing, away from public view.
The proposed Third Amendment (Transmittal 1) to RP 15-19 modifies the permit
premises by adding a9,143 s.f. land parcel and a 25,500 s.f. submerged land parcel on
the south side of its current premises (Transmittal2), and modifying the compensation
accordingly, from $24,328.73 to $28,095.82 a month. ln anticipation of the vessel's
arrival in mid to late December 2018, SpaceX would like to take possession of the
additional premises by December 15, 2017.
Source: https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/December%202017/121417_Regular_Agenda_Item_8.pdf
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/17/2017 03:00 pm
Looking back at a transcript of how Gwynne answered this question:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote
Where will the BFR be built?
We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

I now notice that she used the phrase "by the water", as opposed to "by the ocean" or "at a port".

This got me to thinking, maybe SpaceX is building BFR along some river or estuary that leads to the ocean.

It got me thinking that the diameter of the BFR could grow.  It seemed the 9 meter diameter was driving by the existing Hawthorne facility.  If that constraint is removed, why not go back to 10 meters, shorten the booster and spaceship, give more room for the engines on the bottom and give yourself a potential growth path to stretch the vehicle over time.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lar on 12/17/2017 03:16 pm
10 seems like such a minor change. if they've done some 9 meter tooling already I would expect they would not do that.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 12/17/2017 03:36 pm
It got me thinking that the diameter of the BFR could grow.  It seemed the 9 meter diameter was driving by the existing Hawthorne facility.  If that constraint is removed, why not go back to 10 meters, shorten the booster and spaceship, give more room for the engines on the bottom and give yourself a potential growth path to stretch the vehicle over time.

I'm not sure it's sunk in yet, but Musk's presentation in September 2017 indicated a huge change for SpaceX. 

Before then, BFR was something in the vague future, yet to be designed, and yet to be funded.

That's all changed now.  Here's a quote from Elon's presentation:
http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-34
Quote
So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built. We will start construction of the first ship around the second quarter of next year, so in about six to nine months we should start building the first ship.

So it's clear the design has been finalized.  The second quarter of next year is now just 15 weeks away.

This is happening A LOT faster than many people think.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: philw1776 on 12/17/2017 03:39 pm
Before IAC 2015 there were credible rumors of Elon ordering 15m tooling.  Then 2016 IAC saw 12m.  2017 IAC 9m.
In with those who think a bit wider than 9m s better.  31 engines are crowded at 9m.  Leave room for unanticipated future growth/changes.
But Elon likes his rockets slim.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 12/17/2017 03:52 pm
Before IAC 2015 there were credible rumors of Elon ordering 15m tooling...

Rumors are rumors.  Much different than a direct statement from Elon during a major presentation.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/17/2017 04:26 pm
It got me thinking that the diameter of the BFR could grow.  It seemed the 9 meter diameter was driving by the existing Hawthorne facility.  If that constraint is removed, why not go back to 10 meters, shorten the booster and spaceship, give more room for the engines on the bottom and give yourself a potential growth path to stretch the vehicle over time.

I'm not sure it's sunk in yet, but Musk's presentation in September 2017 indicated a huge change for SpaceX. 

Before then, BFR was something in the vague future, yet to be designed, and yet to be funded.

That's all changed now.  Here's a quote from Elon's presentation:
http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-34
Quote
So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built. We will start construction of the first ship around the second quarter of next year, so in about six to nine months we should start building the first ship.

So it's clear the design has been finalized.  The second quarter of next year is now just 15 weeks away.

This is happening A LOT faster than many people think.

Good points, and SpaceX doesn't have endless funds or time.  If they are starting soon they maybe they are going to start out in the height restricted Hawthorne facility.

There is so much more to go down the road regarding design, handling, launching etc.  Buildings and land are cheap compared to rockets, build for the optimum rocket.  But it's not my money.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lar on 12/17/2017 04:44 pm
SpaceX have a history of Just In Time building and GSE mods so it's probably a combination of both... start in the right place, take their best guess for the initial building section size/width/door size, etc and iterate.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: pb2000 on 12/17/2017 04:55 pm
What if the primary purpose of the boring company is just for fill material so Elon can create a land reclamation company? After he's done creating space for the BFR factory, he can start on his offshore supervillain island lair.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 12/18/2017 12:54 pm
What if the primary purpose of the boring company is just for fill material so Elon can create a land reclamation company? After he's done creating space for the BFR factory, he can start on his offshore supervillain island lair.

[humor]
You have no idea what you're talking about!  Musk is clearly on record saying he wants to buy a volcano lair.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/588144086755999744?lang=en
[/humor]
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: QuantumG on 12/22/2017 01:52 am
Anyone identified where the new floor space at the Port of LA is yet?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 12/22/2017 05:38 am
Anyone identified where the new floor space at the Port of LA is yet?

Nope.  Lots of speculation, but no clue where where the new building is.

And that seems kind of strange.  Musk said they plan to start building BFS in the second quarter of 2018.  That starts just 15 weeks from now.  Presumably, they'll need that much time to set up the manufacturing equipment. 

So unless SpaceX is way behind schedule, they should be setting up the BFS assembly line as we speak.

But in the past, SpaceX hasn't keep the locations of their new facilities secret.  Quite the opposite.

So either:
1) They're already way behind the announced schedule for starting BFS production in 2Q 2018, or
2) They have some good reason to make an exception and keep the location secret, at least for now.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jpo234 on 12/22/2017 08:13 am



But in the past, SpaceX hasn't keep the locations of their new facilities secret.  Quite the opposite.


The BFR tank building required a lot of internet sleuthing to find...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 12/22/2017 01:12 pm

But in the past, SpaceX hasn't keep the locations of their new facilities secret.  Quite the opposite.


The BFR tank building required a lot of internet sleuthing to find...

Right, but the 12m tank that was used for early pressure testing wasn't built at a SpaceX facility.  It was built at  Janicki Industries (https://www.google.com/maps?q=Janicki+Industries+Washington&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfpMqy9NTWAhUK0mMKHd_WAYEQ_AUICygC) in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

SpaceX usually keeps a low profile about their subcontractors.

By contrast, they normally publicize SpaceX facilities at new locations. And at Stanford, Gwynne mentioned the new BFR manufacturing site, so that's consistent with making SpaceX locations public. Why then have we not heard more?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOTb9Zmul_U

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/22/2017 01:34 pm

1) They're already way behind the announced schedule for starting BFS production in 2Q 2018, or
2) They have some good reason to make an exception and keep the location secret, at least for now.

Or they haven't finalized the deal with a facility owner, not appropriate to talk about it until the deal is finalized.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: MaxTeranous on 12/22/2017 01:40 pm

1) They're already way behind the announced schedule for starting BFS production in 2Q 2018, or
2) They have some good reason to make an exception and keep the location secret, at least for now.

Or they haven't finalized the deal with a facility owner, not appropriate to talk about it until the deal is finalized.

Or they can start to build some parts of the BFS in existing facilities and don't need the final assembly building in place yet. You don't need a full end to end assembly line in place before you put together the first nut and bolt, so to speak.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 12/22/2017 02:00 pm
1) They're already way behind the announced schedule for starting BFS production in 2Q 2018, or
2) They have some good reason to make an exception and keep the location secret, at least for now.
Or they haven't finalized the deal with a facility owner, not appropriate to talk about it until the deal is finalized.
Yes.  That's what I was thinking about for 2) above.

Or they can start to build some parts of the BFS in existing facilities and don't need the final assembly building in place yet. You don't need a full end to end assembly line in place before you put together the first nut and bolt, so to speak.
I've always assumed the majority of BFR / BFS manufacturing would occur at Hawthorne.  That would include Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically part or sub-assembly that can be road transported without temporarily removing traffic lights, utility poles, etc.

So the new BFR / BFS manufacturing site will just be for building the large CF structures and doing final assembly.

That said, when Elon stated:
Quote from: Elon Musk
The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built. We will start construction of the first ship around the second quarter of next year...
It seems to me like he's talking about the facility that will build the large CF structures and do final assembly.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: alexterrell on 01/06/2018 01:49 pm
Anyone identified where the new floor space at the Port of LA is yet?

Nope.  Lots of speculation, but no clue where where the new building is.

And that seems kind of strange.  Musk said they plan to start building BFS in the second quarter of 2018.  That starts just 15 weeks from now.  Presumably, they'll need that much time to set up the manufacturing equipment. 
Alternatively, the new factory (or final assembly plant) has been built somewhere they know about factories, like Korea or Japan, and is about to sail across the Pacific to LA.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: spacenut on 01/06/2018 02:15 pm
If he has to launch from the Cape or from Boca Chica, it seems to me the final assembly plant should be near one of those launch sites, to avoid shipping via the Panama Canal. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 01/06/2018 02:35 pm
Musk said they plan to start building BFS in the second quarter of 2018.  That starts just 15 weeks from now.  Presumably, they'll need that much time to set up the manufacturing equipment. 

So unless SpaceX is way behind schedule, they should be setting up the BFS assembly line as we speak.

My recollection is that he actually said "around the second quarter of 2018". So even without any time dilation, production could start in mid-July without impacting that statement. And if production starts in mid-July, maybe they just haven't identified a suitable and acceptable site yet. Not having a site yet could even be why he hedged the time rather than being optimistically specific. Nothing requires, or even points to, construction starting at the beginning of the window he gave.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: testguy on 01/06/2018 04:07 pm
A recent, posted this week, SpaceX Power Point slide shows the first Molding BFS being completed in the third quarter of this year.  In order to achieve that, the plan and location must be in place.  No doubt the LA location.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RedLineTrain on 01/06/2018 04:38 pm
A recent, posted this week, SpaceX Power Point slide shows the first Molding BFS being completed in the third quarter of this year.  In order to achieve that, the plan and location must be in place.  No doubt the LA location.

Can you please point me to that Powerpoint slide?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: stcks on 01/06/2018 04:39 pm
A recent, posted this week, SpaceX Power Point slide shows the first Molding BFS being completed in the third quarter of this year.  In order to achieve that, the plan and location must be in place.  No doubt the LA location.

Is this that fan-made speculative 2018 goals image coming up again? https://i.redd.it/em60rabjin701.jpg

If that's the one, it was apparently just made by a fan on Reddit.

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/06/2018 05:57 pm
Alternatively, the new factory (or final assembly plant) has been built somewhere they know about factories, like Korea or Japan, and is about to sail across the Pacific to LA.

If he has to launch from the Cape or from Boca Chica, it seems to me the final assembly plant should be near one of those launch sites, to avoid shipping via the Panama Canal.

Here's the exact quote from Gwynne:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

So at this point, we know the new facility will be in the Los Angeles area, somewhere near water.

We're all speculating exactly where that will be.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: octavo on 01/06/2018 06:42 pm
So at this point, we know the new facility will be in the Los Angeles area, somewhere near water.

We're all speculating exactly where that will be.

Well, psychics have made entire careers with predictions similarly vague, so I'm not surprised this thread continues.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/06/2018 07:22 pm


Here's the exact quote from Gwynne:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

So at this point, we know the new facility will be in the Los Angeles area, somewhere near water.

We're all speculating exactly where that will be.
"We're looking at" does not mean we are.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: testguy on 01/06/2018 07:32 pm
A recent, posted this week, SpaceX Power Point slide shows the first Molding BFS being completed in the third quarter of this year.  In order to achieve that, the plan and location must be in place.  No doubt the LA location.

Can you please point me to that Powerpoint slide?

Go to the SpaceX Texas Launch Site Discussion thread.  On 1/2/18 SPTexas posted it.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RedLineTrain on 01/06/2018 07:35 pm
A recent, posted this week, SpaceX Power Point slide shows the first Molding BFS being completed in the third quarter of this year.  In order to achieve that, the plan and location must be in place.  No doubt the LA location.

Can you please point me to that Powerpoint slide?

Go to the SpaceX Texas Launch Site Discussion thread.  On 1/2/18 SPTexas posted it.

That slide was created by a fan, not by SpaceX.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: testguy on 01/06/2018 07:47 pm
A recent, posted this week, SpaceX Power Point slide shows the first Molding BFS being completed in the third quarter of this year.  In order to achieve that, the plan and location must be in place.  No doubt the LA location.

Can you please point me to that Powerpoint slide?

Go to the SpaceX Texas Launch Site Discussion thread.  On 1/2/18 SPTexas posted it.

That slide was created by a fan, not by SpaceX.

Not saying you are wrong but would appreciate if you or SPTexas could verify that. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: theinternetftw on 01/06/2018 08:13 pm
That slide was created by a fan, not by SpaceX.
Not saying you are wrong but would appreciate if you or SPTexas could verify that.

You must have missed the post that came immediately after the one you're citing:

Just to make it clear, this comes from this reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/7nm8yi/spacex_overview_2018/) and, from reading the comments there, is one reader's attempt to describe the coming year.

As well as the four or so posts after that, all pointing out to people that it was fan-made.

If you read the comments in that reddit post from the post's author, CProphet, the fact that he made the image becomes clear.  For example, he says "I have attempted to anticipate when these events will actually occur, to make guide more practical."  And he is already known on that subreddit as being a fan and not an insider.

I tried to warn everyone what this was when it showed up on NSF.  For multiple posts I tried.  I'm still trying.  We'll see if it works this time.

Edit: Clarity
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: aero on 01/06/2018 08:52 pm
Alternatively, the new factory (or final assembly plant) has been built somewhere they know about factories, like Korea or Japan, and is about to sail across the Pacific to LA.

If he has to launch from the Cape or from Boca Chica, it seems to me the final assembly plant should be near one of those launch sites, to avoid shipping via the Panama Canal.

Here's the exact quote from Gwynne:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

So at this point, we know the new facility will be in the Los Angeles area, somewhere near water.

We're all speculating exactly where that will be.

Kind of a dumb question, but how much too big is the BFR stage and the BFS to fit into one of the Boring Company's tunnels? A big, dedicated tunnel from factory to test/launch facility would be just the ticket. Initially, put the factory near Palm Springs (cheap real estate) and send the stages via the tunnel to "near the water" for transshipping. Employees could use the tunnel to commute from the LA area and get a day off when a rocket stage was being transported via the tunnel. Or load a few tons of propellant and then the stage wouldn't need to delay anyone.  ;D

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 01/06/2018 10:22 pm

Boring Company tunnels are 14 feet diameter, so under half of what's needed for BFR transport.  We're not going to see rockets being shot around underground LA I'm afraid.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/07/2018 02:12 am

Here's the exact quote from Gwynne:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

So at this point, we know the new facility will be in the Los Angeles area, somewhere near water.

We're all speculating exactly where that will be.

Kind of a dumb question, but how much too big is the BFR stage and the BFS to fit into one of the Boring Company's tunnels?

Even if it did, why would it matter?

The President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX publicly disclosed their plans to build BFR at a new facility in the Los Angeles area somewhere by the water.  I see no reason to second-guess that.

The only question left now is exactly where that new facility will be.  Previous speculation on this thread includes the following locations:
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jpo234 on 01/07/2018 03:33 pm


Anyone identified where the new floor space at the Port of LA is yet?

Nope.  Lots of speculation, but no clue where where the new building is.

And that seems kind of strange.  Musk said they plan to start building BFS in the second quarter of 2018.  That starts just 15 weeks from now.  Presumably, they'll need that much time to set up the manufacturing equipment. 
Alternatively, the new factory (or final assembly plant) has been built somewhere they know about factories, like Korea or Japan, and is about to sail across the Pacific to LA.

Would this be legal?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/07/2018 03:42 pm
Alternatively, the new factory (or final assembly plant) has been built somewhere they know about factories, like Korea or Japan, and is about to sail across the Pacific to LA.
Would this be legal?

Maybe, but who cares?

Again, the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX told us that they plan to build BFR at a new facility by water within the Los Angeles area.

When we don't know what's going on, speculation is fine.  This thread includes that.

But when we have it straight from the horse's mouth, speculation otherwise seems pointless.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/07/2018 04:16 pm
DaveG, you keep repeating that SpaceX is going to build a facility near the water in LA and then you quote GS.
 However in her quote she said
Quote
we are looking at building a facility near the water in LA.
I'm not saying it won't happen but we do not have confirmation from GS the it will happen as you keep suggesting.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/07/2018 04:35 pm
DaveG, you keep repeating that SpaceX is going to build a facility near the water in LA and then you quote GS.
 However in her quote she said
Quote
we are looking at building a facility near the water in LA.
I'm not saying it won't happen but we do not have confirmation from GS the it will happen as you keep suggesting.
If you ask any good scientist or engineer whether they're 100% certain of something, they'll say no.

For our purposes, the fact that they're willing to go on-record with a specific plan, I think that's >90% certainty.

In any event, betting against the President and COO of SpaceX, I would not take that bet.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: rcoppola on 01/07/2018 05:09 pm
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?" I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

There is no specific plan that is not a Monday morning meeting change-of-plan beyond the grand plan of BFR being built.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: meekGee on 01/07/2018 05:24 pm
DaveG, you keep repeating that SpaceX is going to build a facility near the water in LA and then you quote GS.
 However in her quote she said
Quote
we are looking at building a facility near the water in LA.
I'm not saying it won't happen but we do not have confirmation from GS the it will happen as you keep suggesting.
If you ask any good scientist or engineer whether they're 100% certain of something, they'll say no.

For our purposes, the fact that they're willing to go on-record with a specific plan, I think that's >90% certainty.

In any event, betting against the President and COO of SpaceX, I would not take that bet.
He's not betting against her, he's saying that she didn't say what you attribute to her.

I agree with that assessment.  She says "we're looking at", which I interpret as "one of the options", or even "our current leading option", but certainly not "it's a done deal for us".
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/08/2018 02:30 am
He's not betting against her, he's saying that she didn't say what you attribute to her.

I agree with that assessment.  She says "we're looking at", which I interpret as "one of the options", or even "our current leading option", but certainly not "it's a done deal for us".
When did I say it was a done deal?

I said that was their plan, which is a reasonable interpretation of "we're looking at", especially when the president of the company says it in public.

God, what a tough crowd.

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: meekGee on 01/08/2018 02:51 am
He's not betting against her, he's saying that she didn't say what you attribute to her.

I agree with that assessment.  She says "we're looking at", which I interpret as "one of the options", or even "our current leading option", but certainly not "it's a done deal for us".
When did I say it was a done deal?

I said that was their plan, which is a reasonable interpretation of "we're looking at", especially when the president of the company says it in public.

God, what a tough crowd.
Notoriously so!
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: speedevil on 01/08/2018 03:43 am
When did I say it was a done deal?
By repeatedly arguing that any other possible plan is impossible based on the one 'looking at' statement.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/08/2018 04:25 am
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?"
When I started this thread, Gwynne had not yet made this statement, and it seemed like most of the people posting thought BFR would be built exclusively at Hawthorne.

Since Gwynne's statement, yes, this thread has focused more on where BFR will be built first, which is fine. But talking about where BFR may be built later is also on-topic. No need to change the name of the thread.

As for when they will start building BFR near the launch sites, I think that will be much later. Remember, BFR is more of a financial challenge than an engineering one.  In order to build additional BFR production facilities, they'll need to make enough money to pay for it. 

Also, how many BFRs do they need to build?  Remember that:
  • BFR and BFS are designed to be reused hundreds of times
  • BFR and BFS are aimed at very rapid reuse, perhaps less than 24 hours between flights
  • The BFS cargo version will have a huge payload capability for comsats and ISS cargo
  • BFS will return from Mars back to Earth, and be reused

With all this in mind, I'd guess that maybe 3 BFRs and 6 BFSs could service the entire current launch market, plus Starlink, plus a couple of Mars missions once every 2 years.  While these two numbers are a guess, the main point is that the 4 factors listed above allow SpaceX to do a lot with relatively few BFRs and BFSs.  So in order to cost-justify additional BFR production facilities, I think they would need to really expand the launch market, e.g. thousands of people buying tickets to Mars every 2 years, and/or daily flights between major cities on Earth.

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/08/2018 06:25 am
I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

Remember what else Gwynne said at Stanford:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Pad 39a will be used for Falcon Heavy launches and crew flights.
Boca Chica launch site under construction is the "perfect location for BFR".
She did not mention anything else about Boca Chica other than its prime suitability for BFR.

These comments have led many to speculate that BFR will launch from Boca Chica first.  I have no idea if they're right, but for more info, check out the thread titled: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44168.140
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: IainMcClatchie on 01/09/2018 04:13 am
Quote from: Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

I've just noticed one aspect of what she said so long ago.

It costs $2.5m/trip to move BFRs to the harbor, which "just wouldn't be worth it".  That implies it's cheaper for them to build the new facility by the water.

Hmmm.

Obviously no matter where they build it, all the fixturing and so forth will have to be built regardless.  But she's implying that the facility by the water is going to be cheaper than X BFRs * $2.5m.  Seems like X would have to be 50 or more for that to be true, as they have to pay for both leasing the land and building the shell on top of it.

That's a lot of BFRs.

Maybe the big cost driving this new facility is that, if they'd build BFR at the existing Hawthorne facility, they'd have had to move their existing tooling around to make room for the big new stuff.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Radical_Ignorant on 01/09/2018 08:30 am
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?" I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

There is no specific plan that is not a Monday morning meeting change-of-plan beyond the grand plan of BFR being built.

For me it makes no sense. What's the reason for additional expense of tooling for whole production facilities if BFRs are rapidly reusable? There won't be many of them build, so why multiply factory cost few times?!
I interpret this statement as "we will have refurbishment facilities near launch sites"
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 01/09/2018 09:31 am
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?" I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

There is no specific plan that is not a Monday morning meeting change-of-plan beyond the grand plan of BFR being built.

For me it makes no sense. What's the reason for additional expense of tooling for whole production facilities if BFRs are rapidly reusable? There won't be many of them build, so why multiply factory cost few times?!
I interpret this statement as "we will have refurbishment facilities near launch sites"

SpaceX's plan for the first two Mars missions alone requires a ship completed every six months or so.  There's some ramp in production between that and the 1000 ships per synod ambition.  P2P ships are in that mix too.  Likelihood of either happening doesn't matter such as that being where the company wants to head.

I'm curious as to how much larger a BFR scale HIF needs to be to accommodate assembly.  The tank production will be highly robotised.  Might as well use that for skirt and nosecone. 

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Radical_Ignorant on 01/09/2018 11:25 am
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?" I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

There is no specific plan that is not a Monday morning meeting change-of-plan beyond the grand plan of BFR being built.

For me it makes no sense. What's the reason for additional expense of tooling for whole production facilities if BFRs are rapidly reusable? There won't be many of them build, so why multiply factory cost few times?!
I interpret this statement as "we will have refurbishment facilities near launch sites"

SpaceX's plan for the first two Mars missions alone requires a ship completed every six months or so.  There's some ramp in production between that and the 1000 ships per synod ambition.  P2P ships are in that mix too.  Likelihood of either happening doesn't matter such as that being where the company wants to head.

I'm curious as to how much larger a BFR scale HIF needs to be to accommodate assembly.  The tank production will be highly robotised.  Might as well use that for skirt and nosecone.

Uhmmm... 1000 ships. OK, maybe I wasn't clear. What production rate makes building second factory reasonable. And in my ignorant view there is no way that production for customers (including Starlink) makes second factory economically reasonable. 1000 ships is a goal, a far away dream. And we have no idea if BFS if final tech to reach this goal. And btw - those thousand ships would be used multiple times.

To put it other way - whole point of 2017 presentation was: "how SpaceX can reach mars transportation technology without breaking the bank". So I can't wrap my head around idea "now we not only will develop ship and biggest ever satellite constellation, we will also build many factories now, we will enlarge our investment a lot"... it sound's like this idea of offshore launchpad, like fairytale where SpaceX has access to unlimited funding.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 03:17 pm
Obviously no matter where they build it, all the fixturing and so forth will have to be built regardless.  But she's implying that the facility by the water is going to be cheaper than X BFRs * $2.5m.  Seems like X would have to be 50 or more for that to be true, as they have to pay for both leasing the land and building the shell on top of it.
As I've said before, SpaceX may just lease an existing building. In other words, when Gwynne says "We're looking at building a facility", it's possible she meant building new manufacturing facilities within an existing building.

Also remember that SpaceX tends to think long-term.  That's why they're not a publicly traded company.

As I said before, I'd guess that 3 BFRs could satisfy the entire current launch market, plus Starlink, plus a couple of Mars missions every 2 years

They would also need a couple of throw-away BFRs at the beginning to work the kinks out. And they would need a lot more than 3 BFSs, perhaps 6 or 8, plus few throw-away BFSs to gather data and tweak the design. I'm not sure on these exact amounts, but my main point is that SpaceX can do a lot with relatively few BFRs, and this may last them through the next 7-8 years. 

Beyond that, as they ramp up the number of active BFRs, that's probably where the cost of transporting BFR from Hawthorne comes into play.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 03:27 pm
SpaceX's plan for the first two Mars missions alone requires a ship completed every six months or so.  There's some ramp in production between that and the 1000 ships per synod ambition...
1000 BFRs seems crazy high to me.  Remember that BFR and BFS are designed to be reused hundreds of times, so that would be hundreds of thousands of BFR launches.  Also remember that each BFR can launch 10 times the payload of Falcon 9, so 1000 BFRs would be the equivalent of millions of F9 launches.  By the time the launch market expands that much, I think SpaceX will have multiple serious competitors doing similar things.

I'm guessing maybe 50-100 BFRs over the next 20 years or so, something in that ballpark.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: DaveGee66 on 01/09/2018 03:37 pm
Perhaps I am repeating a previous post  (likely, almost assuredly) but the first question that I'd think needs to be answered is this:

Q: Where is the BFR going to be launched from on its maiden/test flights?

Yes I  know that the point to point vision of the future shows these being launched from ocean platforms (someday) but will the initial BFR test flights be launched from the same platforms?  If so what states are going to allow SpaceX to build them off shore and if not then can the BFR be launched from an already built pad??  I'd think quite a bit of work would need to be done prior to any of the existing pads being usable for the BFR and finally can SpaceX afford to have an existing launch site down during a time when they are expected to open the flood gates on the space launch industry?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 03:43 pm
Q: Where is the BFR going to be launched from on its maiden/test flights?

Yes I  know that the point to point vision of the future shows these being launched from ocean platforms (someday) but will the initial BFR test flights be launched from the same platforms?  If so what states are going to allow SpaceX to build them off shore and if not then can the BFR be launched from an already built pad??  I'd think quite a bit of work would need to be done prior to any of the existing pads being usable for the BFR and finally can SpaceX afford to have an existing launch site down during a time when they are expected to open the flood gates on the space launch industry?

Note that there's another thread called: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44168.140
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 01/09/2018 06:58 pm
1000 BFRs seems crazy high to me.  Remember that BFR and BFS are designed to be reused hundreds of times, so that would be hundreds of thousands of BFR launches.  Also remember that each BFR can launch 10 times the payload of Falcon 9, so 1000 BFRs would be the equivalent of millions of F9 launches.  By the time the launch market expands that much, I think SpaceX will have multiple serious competitors doing similar things.

I'm guessing maybe 50-100 BFRs over the next 20 years or so, something in that ballpark.


The thousand ships to Mars was from IAC2016. Agree it's a crazy number.  I wasn't putting forward a timescale, just that it's a stated end goal.  That and P2P does demand Boeing/Airbus levels of production capacity.   

So my guess would be that every time you build a new HIF it has robotised tank/airframe/assembly element to it as well.   

The initial LA site will be a test bed for this.


Quote
Now over time there would be many spaceships. Ultimately, I think, upwards of 1,000 or more spaceships waiting in orbit. And so the Mars colonial fleet would depart en masse, kind of "Battlestar Galactica" — if you've seen that thing, it's a good show — so a bit like that. But it actually makes sense to load the spaceships into orbit, because you've got 2 years to do so, and then make frequent use of the booster and the tanker to get really heavy reuse out of those.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Patchouli on 01/09/2018 07:29 pm
Obviously no matter where they build it, all the fixturing and so forth will have to be built regardless.  But she's implying that the facility by the water is going to be cheaper than X BFRs * $2.5m.  Seems like X would have to be 50 or more for that to be true, as they have to pay for both leasing the land and building the shell on top of it.
As I've said before, SpaceX may just lease an existing building. In other words, when Gwynne says "We're looking at building a facility", it's possible she meant building new manufacturing facilities within an existing building.

Also remember that SpaceX tends to think long-term.  That's why they're not a publicly traded company.

As I said before, I'd guess that 3 BFRs could satisfy the entire current launch market, plus Starlink, plus a couple of Mars missions every 2 years

They would also need a couple of throw-away BFRs at the beginning to work the kinks out. And they would need a lot more than 3 BFSs, perhaps 6 or 8, plus few throw-away BFSs to gather data and tweak the design. I'm not sure on these exact amounts, but my main point is that SpaceX can do a lot with relatively few BFRs, and this may last them through the next 7-8 years. 

Beyond that, as they ramp up the number of active BFRs, that's probably where the cost of transporting BFR from Hawthorne comes into play.


I expect BFRs launch rate to start out somewhat slow at a first as they will want to inspect every vehicle extensively early one so they can figure out what will need to be serviced.
As they get more data the flighty rate will ramp up.
The location of manufacture probably would be largely driven by accessibility by large barges as that's how they'll probably be transported from the factory.
Probably along the east coast of Texas, Louisiana, and even where there's a suitable river such as how the ULA factory is located in Decatur so they can avoid having to go all the way to Panama to reach the launch site at the Cape.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Negan on 01/09/2018 08:04 pm
I expect BFRs launch rate to start out somewhat slow at a first as they will want to inspect every vehicle extensively early one so they can figure out what will need to be serviced.

I think because of all the reuse data they have and will gain by then, they'll look to exceed Falcon 9's reuse numbers right out of the gate. The first full stack launch will be a dummy payload, but after that, plenty of Starlink satellites.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 08:25 pm
The location of manufacture probably would be largely driven by accessibility by large barges as that's how they'll probably be transported from the factory.
I agree.

Probably along the east coast of Texas, Louisiana, and even where there's a suitable river such as how the ULA factory is located in Decatur so they can avoid having to go all the way to Panama to reach the launch site at the Cape.
At SpaceX, there's a strong desire to keep development engineers physically close to the manufacturing area.  For Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, development engineers and manufacturing share the same building.  For this reason, many of the early posts on this thread assumed BFR would be built at Hawthorne.

But then on Oct 11, Gwynne said:
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

Since then, speculation on this thread has mainly focused on where this new Los Angeles based facility will be.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: D_Dom on 01/22/2018 04:19 pm
This tent was mostly finished Dec 2, the day after picture was taken. Friday was the most activity I have seen here since then, they had a lot of heavy equipment around.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: guckyfan on 01/22/2018 06:39 pm
Is that tent structure high enoug for a 9m core? Comparing to that perimeter wall it seems not high enough.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: docmordrid on 01/22/2018 08:36 pm
Check the overpass behind it. In urban areas the road to structure clearance needs to be 14 feet (4.3 m) + margin for road resurfacing.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 01/23/2018 12:50 pm
This tent was mostly finished Dec 2, the day after picture was taken. Friday was the most activity I have seen here since then, they had a lot of heavy equipment around.
Do you get the impression that they might be building a second roomba in this tent or something bigger?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: D_Dom on 01/23/2018 04:13 pm
Apologies for that poor image, we were driving. The perspective is hard to describe but the structure is far removed from the both the overpass and the perimeter wall. I would guess it is more than tall enough for 9 meter storage. No doubt a second Roomba could be built there, it is big enough for much larger assemblies. I noticed utilities connection as well as a backup generator.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 01/25/2018 05:52 am

That does seem like a good spot to assemble BFR.  It's straight down Navy Way to pier 400. There's a couple of over the road signs to remove.  Don't know if the crash barrier in the middle of the bridge just before the pier would cause issues?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 01/25/2018 08:35 am

That does seem like a good spot to assemble BFR.  It's straight down Navy Way to pier 400. There's a couple of over the road signs to remove.  Don't know if the crash barrier in the middle of the bridge just before the pier would cause issues?

the above posts were previously discussed here (just FYI).  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43871.msg1749135#msg1749135
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 01/25/2018 08:37 am
The latest Port of Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners meeting in December had this SpaceX related topic at Stage One recovery area:

Quote
Waterfront & Commercial Real Estate

8.   RESOLUTION NO.____________ - APPROVE THIRD AMENDMENT TO REVOCABLE PERMIT NO. 15-19 WITH SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES CORP. DBA SPACEX

Summary: Staff requests approval of the Third Amendment to Revocable Permit No. 15-19 (RP 15-19) with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. dba SpaceX (SpaceX) to increase permit premises by approximately 34,643 square feet (s.f.) of land and water areas and allow the berthing of a 204' long vessel. The additional land area will also allow SpaceX to remove equipment from the tops of their sea vans and store them in the additional area, away from public view. The Third Amendment to RP 15-19 increases City of Los Angeles Harbor Department (Harbor Department) revenue by $45,205.04 per year to $337,149.80, a 15.48 percent increase over its current annual rent of $291,944.76.

Recommendation: Board resolve to (1) find that the proposed action is categorically exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Article III Class 1(14) of the Los Angeles City CEQA Guidelines as determined by the Director of Environmental Management; (2) approve the Third Amendment to Revocable Permit No. 15-19 with Space Exploration Technologies Corp.; (3) authorize the Executive Director to execute and the Board Secretary to attest to the Third Amendment to Revocable Permit No. 15-19; and (4) adopt Resolution No.____________.

Source: https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/December%202017/121417_Regular_Agenda.asp

There was no activity for SpaceX mentioned in the January meeting.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: docmordrid on 01/25/2018 05:39 pm
Where?

NSF.... (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/)

Quote
As Kennedy Space Center continues its transition to becoming a multi-user spaceport, more details are emerging about its possible future, including a new small vehicle launch complex, a New Armstrong launch pad, and a SpaceX BFR assembly facility.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/25/2018 08:55 pm
Where?

NSF.... (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/)

Quote
As Kennedy Space Center continues its transition to becoming a multi-user spaceport, more details are emerging about its possible future, including a new small vehicle launch complex, a New Armstrong launch pad, and a SpaceX BFR assembly facility.

From Ian Atkinson's NSF article.
Quote
SpaceX is also considering building their own new facilities, although this will not be a launch complex but rather a factory to build their future BFR vehicle. The company is talking with NASA and Space Florida about obtaining land for the new factory, likely be located near or right next to Blue Origin’s existing New Glenn factory.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/25/2018 09:09 pm
Where?

NSF.... (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/)

Quote
As Kennedy Space Center continues its transition to becoming a multi-user spaceport, more details are emerging about its possible future, including a new small vehicle launch complex, a New Armstrong launch pad, and a SpaceX BFR assembly facility.

From Ian Atkinson's NSF article.
Quote
SpaceX is also considering building their own new facilities, although this will not be a launch complex but rather a factory to build their future BFR vehicle. The company is talking with NASA and Space Florida about obtaining land for the new factory, likely be located near or right next to Blue Origin’s existing New Glenn factory.

Given how EM thinks about vertical integration I can easily imagine the BFR facility being in Florida.

He describes in a Tesla YouTube that he would like to have a factory where raw materials go in one end of a factory and out the other end comes finished cars. 

Why not do this with the BFR as well.  The people that need to build it would be there to service and operate as well.  Anything that reduced the number of touches and number of times it needs to be moved.

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/25/2018 09:17 pm

Given how EM thinks about vertical integration I can easily imagine the BFR facility being in Florida.

He describes in a Tesla YouTube that he would like to have a factory where raw materials go in one end of a factory and out the other end comes finished cars. 

Why not do this with the BFR as well.  The people that need to build it would be there to service and operate as well.  Anything that reduced the number of touches and number of times it needs to be moved.

A totally automated factory of the sort described here would only make sense if millions of BFR's were being built. Dozens of units would never cover the capital costs.

Matthew
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Lar on 01/25/2018 11:01 pm

Given how EM thinks about vertical integration I can easily imagine the BFR facility being in Florida.

He describes in a Tesla YouTube that he would like to have a factory where raw materials go in one end of a factory and out the other end comes finished cars. 

Why not do this with the BFR as well.  The people that need to build it would be there to service and operate as well.  Anything that reduced the number of touches and number of times it needs to be moved.

A totally automated factory of the sort described here would only make sense if millions of BFR's were being built. Dozens of units would never cover the capital costs.

Matthew

Not necessarily true, flexibile manufacturing can make sense for quite small volumes
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: paulthew on 01/25/2018 11:28 pm
As stated in this article, https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/ , Spacex is looking at building a BFR manufacturing facility in Florida near Blue Origin's facility.  However, since each module of the BFR should be able to fly great distances, shouldn't they be able to simply determine the best industrial location, build them there, and autonomously fly them to KSC or Brownsville?  Why should anything besides air traffic be a factor with the capabilities of the BFR modules?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: envy887 on 01/26/2018 02:20 am
As stated in this article, https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/ , Spacex is looking at building a BFR manufacturing facility in Florida near Blue Origin's facility.  However, since each module of the BFR should be able to fly great distances, shouldn't they be able to simply determine the best industrial location, build them there, and autonomously fly them to KSC or Brownsville?  Why should anything besides air traffic be a factor with the capabilities of the BFR modules?

You can't just launch a rocket from anywhere you want, especially one the size of BFR.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/26/2018 02:52 am
As stated in this article, https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/ , Spacex is looking at building a BFR manufacturing facility in Florida near Blue Origin's facility.  However, since each module of the BFR should be able to fly great distances, shouldn't they be able to simply determine the best industrial location, build them there, and autonomously fly them to KSC or Brownsville?  Why should anything besides air traffic be a factor with the capabilities of the BFR modules?

You can't just launch a rocket from anywhere you want, especially one the size of BFR.

Yeah, ESPECIALLY over land.

The FAA and NASA would kill your company and/or reputation faster than you can say "liftoff".
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 01/26/2018 10:52 am

Given how EM thinks about vertical integration I can easily imagine the BFR facility being in Florida.


Long term, yes.  Near term, Gwynne said BFR will be built in Los Angeles (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821).

Quote from: Fireside Chat with Gwynne Shotwell, Oct 11, 2017
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/28/2018 08:17 pm
As stated in this article, https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/ , Spacex is looking at building a BFR manufacturing facility in Florida near Blue Origin's facility.

The land described might be part of the Space Florida Exploration Park Second Phase, or might be part of the future expansion:

I took the site plan from http://www.explorationpark.com/available.htm and overlaid it on a Google Earth view of the area, really will depend on SpaceX's land needs:

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Nydoc on 01/31/2018 03:38 pm
Terminal Is. tent viewed from above.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 02/01/2018 11:49 pm
SpaceX Gears Up to Finally, Actually Launch the Falcon Heavy (https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-gears-up-to-finally-actually-launch-the-falcon-heavy/)
Quote
WIRED has learned that SpaceX is actively considering expanding its San Pedro, California facility to begin manufacturing its interplanetary spacecraft. This would allow SpaceX to easily shift personnel from headquarters in Hawthorne.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: ShawnGSE on 02/02/2018 12:46 am
That reflects the rumors I've heard for a long time.  The word "facility" makes me chuckle, so far that facility is a single-wide trailer, or at least it was a year ago when I got stuck there.  Most of the port in that area is parking lot. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: vaporcobra on 02/02/2018 02:21 am
That reflects the rumors I've heard for a long time.  The word "facility" makes me chuckle, so far that facility is a single-wide trailer, or at least it was a year ago when I got stuck there.  Most of the port in that area is parking lot.

Pshhhh, don't sell it short! It also has a moderately sized tent in store :)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: jpo234 on 02/02/2018 09:06 am
That reflects the rumors I've heard for a long time.  The word "facility" makes me chuckle, so far that facility is a single-wide trailer, or at least it was a year ago when I got stuck there.  Most of the port in that area is parking lot.

Pshhhh, don't sell it short! It also has a moderately sized tent in store :)

That one? (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43871.msg1775421#msg1775421)

(https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43871.0;attach=1471954;sess=51683)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 02/02/2018 09:44 am
My very rough measuring on Gmaps compared to the other buildings on site would put it at around 50-60m long and 30m wide.  Height seems half the width? 15m ish?

Seems a bit of a squeeze to assemble a 48m ship in there?

(My measurements could be garbage though) 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: geza on 02/02/2018 05:21 pm
How much, and what kind of equipments are needed to build the craft? Something large, complex and expensive? Or, something simple, which can be stored in a tent and easy to relocat later?
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RedLineTrain on 02/02/2018 07:58 pm
I think we're talking about two different locations in San Pedro.  ShawnGSE and Cheapchips appear to be referencing the area near Berths 51-53 on Miner Street.  Vaporcobra and jpo234 appear to be referencing the old Naval and Marine Reserve Center on Reeves Avenue.  The area near Berths 51-53 is very tight for any sort of manufacturing facility, but the old Naval and Marine Reserve Center has plenty of room for a spaceship factory.  Don't know how suitable it would be on other factors besides space.

In either location, you would need to build a new building.  So the contemplated timeline seems off.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 02/02/2018 08:12 pm

I'm was referencing Mydoc's overhead shot of the Reese Avenue tent, if that wasn't clear.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RedLineTrain on 02/02/2018 08:41 pm

I'm was referencing Mydoc's overhead shot of the Reese Avenue tent, if that wasn't clear.

Ah, I see.  The Reeves Avenue tent wouldn't seem to be a suitable place to build a spaceship.  For instance, you would need ovens to cure the carbon fiber vessels.

I vaguely recall that the buildings on site already have environmental approval for demolition.  So I am assuming that all the buildings on the Reeves Avenue site would be razed and SpaceX would build a reasonably-sized factory.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: guckyfan on 02/02/2018 09:26 pm

I'm was referencing Mydoc's overhead shot of the Reese Avenue tent, if that wasn't clear.

Ah, I see.  The Reeves Avenue tent wouldn't seem to be a suitable place to build a spaceship.  For instance, you would need ovens to cure the carbon fiber vessels.

I vaguely recall that the buildings on site already have environmental approval for demolition.  So I am assuming that all the buildings on the Reeves Avenue site would be razed and SpaceX would build a reasonably-sized factory.

I argue that for Gwynne Shotwell to convince Elon Musk that $2.5 million transport cost are too expensive for transport she needs to provide an alternative that does not greatly affect the timeframe. Otherwise they would build at least the first 6-8 BFS and BFR at their Hawthorne facility as initially planned. The where and how is another matter.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: docmordrid on 02/02/2018 09:54 pm

I'm was referencing Mydoc's overhead shot of the Reese Avenue tent, if that wasn't clear.

Ah, I see.  The Reeves Avenue tent wouldn't seem to be a suitable place to build a spaceship.  For instance, you would need ovens to cure the carbon fiber vessels.
>

When NASA and Boeing (with Janicki) built and tested large cryotanks a few years ago they used an out-of-autoclave composite.  SpaceX used Janiki to build their 12m "ITS" tank.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/case-study-nasaboeing-composite-launch-vehicle-fuel-tank-scores-firsts

Composites World.... (https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/nasaboeing-composite-launch-vehicle-fuel-tank-scores-firsts)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RedLineTrain on 02/02/2018 10:09 pm
When NASA and Boeing (with Janicki) built and tested large cryotanks a few years ago they used an out-of-autoclave composite.  SpaceX used Janiki to build their 12m "ITS" tank.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/case-study-nasaboeing-composite-launch-vehicle-fuel-tank-scores-firsts

As far as I know, "out of autoclave" means that it is cured in a 1 atmosphere oven.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: RedLineTrain on 02/02/2018 10:21 pm
I argue that for Gwynne Shotwell to convince Elon Musk that $2.5 million transport cost are too expensive for transport she needs to provide an alternative that does not greatly affect the timeframe. Otherwise they would build at least the first 6-8 BFS and BFR at their Hawthorne facility as initially planned. The where and how is another matter.

That argument is compelling to me, but the where and how is what this thread is all about.  :)

Clearly, we don't have a key piece of information.  Who knows, maybe that SSA Marine warehouse right next to Berths 51-53 is being unused and is big enough to do it.   The roof doesn't look quite tall enough (tough to tell for sure) and it seems like a terrible waste and expense to do it right next to the water, but again, who knows.

http://www.ssamarine.com/locations/outer-harbor-5455/
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: unkulunkulu on 02/02/2018 10:26 pm
I read through this thread and it seemed like the few times it was mentioned it was either ignored or dismissed, but it seems trivially easy to me for SpaceX to build a tunnel big enough and straight enough to fit the bfr/bfs from Hawthorne due west to the ocean south of lax or down to the port of la.   I mean they are already tunneling as a hobby for many miles around there.   Tunnels and tunneling machines the diameter of the bfr are nothing unusual at all.     Compared to rebuilding infrastructure and relocating people elsewhere it seems by far the quickest, easiest and cheapest solution to me.   

I can't believe that idea wouldn't appeal to Elon too.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: IanThePineapple on 02/02/2018 10:43 pm
I read through this thread and it seemed like the few times it was mentioned it was either ignored or dismissed, but it seems trivially easy to me for SpaceX to build a tunnel big enough and straight enough to fit the bfr/bfs from Hawthorne due west to the ocean south of lax or down to the port of la.   I mean they are already tunneling as a hobby for many miles around there.   Tunnels and tunneling machines the diameter of the bfr are nothing unusual at all.     Compared to rebuilding infrastructure and relocating people elsewhere it seems by far the quickest, easiest and cheapest solution to me.   

I can't believe that idea wouldn't appeal to Elon too.

That would take so much time and money, it be so much cheaper and quicker to take down and replace the traffic lights on the roads from HQ->Port of LA.

Plus, they're likely to be built elsewhere (Right on the Port of LA or at KSC)
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: spacenut on 02/02/2018 10:56 pm
Cheaper to build it in Florida or Texas. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: unkulunkulu on 02/03/2018 12:16 am
You might be right.   

Still, these are the kind of dismissive responses that I was talking about.  What about a tunnel is expensive or time consuming?    They're literally doing it doing for fun right now funded by ballcaps and flamethrowers.    This isn't a subway line were talking about or a big dig.    Hawthorne is only a couple miles away from the ocean.    Elon says his 2 mile 405 tunnel proposal will take 3 or 4 months to complete once approved.   An imperial highway tunnel to the ocean is only a couple miles longer.   Widening it to the diameter of a bfr once a pilot tunnel is dug is a trivial bit of mine engineering.

The less than six months at no added cost compared to what they are currently already doing seems pretty quick and cheap. 

Once it's at the ocean they'll just need to drive the bfr onto a barge to deliver it down the coastline to a panamax for delivery wherever they want.     They already build tunnels and barges.  This is right in their wheelhouse.

The whole idea of a new rocket factory is predicated that Hawthorne can't work due to logistical reasons related to rocket transport.   I really don't think that's a valid assumption at all.     
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: meberbs on 02/03/2018 01:15 am
You might be right.   

Still, these are the kind of dismissive responses that I was talking about.
Dismissing a response by calling it dismissive, when you clearly have done no research yourself is kind of ironic.

-Just the boring machine itself would be way more expensive than multiple above ground trips. (tens of millions of dollars)
-You make it sound like approvals alone wouldn't likely take up to a year.
-The machines the boring company has are less than half the needed diameter, meaning, less than a quarter the needed area.
-There is nothing "trivial" about widening an existing tunnel, if anything it might be harder because you have to dig through all of the supports you put in to keep the original tunnel from collapsing.
-In reality they would need a much bigger and much more expensive machine.
-They spent more money than whatever profit was in hats and flamethrowers well before they started selling these.
-putting these together, your less than 6 months and no extra cost becomes a year minimum, and at least 4, more likely 8 times the cost, while removing any payback from future passenger transport, since the tunnel design wouldn't be compatible.

The whole idea of a new rocket factory is predicated that Hawthorne can't work due to logistical reasons related to rocket transport.   I really don't think that's a valid assumption at all.     
There is no assumption. It is $2.5 million per trip over roads, and digging would clearly be way more than that. SpaceX has explicitly stated that is too expensive, so they will build them near the water or at launch sites.

P.S. Welcome to the forum. Off the wall ideas can be helpful, but people here generally know what they are talking about, when they say "it would be way too expensive" usually that is exactly the case.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Ionmars on 02/03/2018 01:40 am
Boring may be feasible or not. It may be expensive or not. The notion that they would build near the ocean was based on what SpaceX said they would do.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: ShawnGSE on 02/03/2018 03:49 am
I argue that for Gwynne Shotwell to convince Elon Musk that $2.5 million transport cost are too expensive for transport she needs to provide an alternative that does not greatly affect the timeframe. Otherwise they would build at least the first 6-8 BFS and BFR at their Hawthorne facility as initially planned. The where and how is another matter.

That argument is compelling to me, but the where and how is what this thread is all about.  :)

Clearly, we don't have a key piece of information.  Who knows, maybe that SSA Marine warehouse right next to Berths 51-53 is being unused and is big enough to do it.   The roof doesn't look quite tall enough (tough to tell for sure) and it seems like a terrible waste and expense to do it right next to the water, but again, who knows.

http://www.ssamarine.com/locations/outer-harbor-5455/

The main issue with building in the Hawthorne plant at this point is space.  Yes the old Northrup facility has a massive footprint, but most of it is made up of smaller buildings.  Now Triumph Aerostructures still operates out of a massive couple buildings on the west end of what SpaceX owns.  In truth this is the last holdout from the old Northrup campus that Elon hasn't been able to get his hands on.  This is mostly due to the grandfathered chemical dip tanks Triumph uses.  It's impossible to remake that setup somewhere else in California.  But the high-bay production floor would be big enough for BFR construction.  It's a sprawling floor space Triumph uses to build skin panels for various commercial Boeing jetliners.  The obvious problem is despite consistent increasing of intensive, Triumph hasn't moved out.  I know Elon was really counting on eventually getting that space because he has been after it since 2014, and Triumph as a company has been on a downward spiral. 

A funny but pointless side story.. I got sent to that Triumph plant to install some new Embraer skin panel tools as a contractor.  While there I got contacted by SpaceX (had recently submitted an application) and did my phone interview in the parking lot directly across from SpaceX HQ.  Of course my interviewer obviously didn't give a damn, he didn't even snicker when I mentioned it.  But crazy enough I flew home a week early from that gig to our home shop in Texas and immediately packed up my family, then drove to Florida to start work on 39A in late 2014. 

Back to the topic, the other big issue I've heard is a BFR move requires shutting down the route entirely to public traffic.  Street lights, stop lights, power poles, and other road hazards need to be made removable which means transporting from Hawthorne to the port would be a lengthy process of shutting down and redirect traffic.  It can't blend in with traffic like Falcon 9 transportation. 

The current port buildings and surrounding structure are very old.  While Elon is all about remodeling and re-purposing, I believe that's a bridge too far.  He would want a new complex custom designed for BFR production.  Or at least I think.. my knowledge of all this is several months old.  I should put in a disclaimer that I am no longer a SpaceX employee.  Still a fan though. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/03/2018 04:09 am
The main issue with building in the Hawthorne plant at this point is space.
...
I should put in a disclaimer that I am no longer a SpaceX employee.  Still a fan though.

Good to have "inside eyes" info about what the limitations are.

Quote
Back to the topic, the other big issue I've heard is a BFR move requires shutting down the route entirely to public traffic.  Street lights, stop lights, power poles, and other road hazards need to be made removable which means transporting from Hawthorne to the port would be a lengthy process of shutting down and redirect traffic.

There has already been a lot of work done on this within NSF, and there are two routes, but both have challenges for vehicles as large as the BFR and BFS. Maybe it would be OK if they only built 1ea of them, but if they are doing some sort of serial production then that argues for building closer to the boat.

Quote
Yes the old Northrup facility has a massive footprint...

I was associated with a Northrop entity early in my adult life, so I tend to by hyper-vigilant about how it's name is spelled. Especially since the name "Northrop" seems to be misspelled far more than any other large corporation.

Just wanted to remind everyone that there is no "u" in Northrop...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: crab nebula2 on 02/03/2018 11:41 pm
In thinking about the construction of the BFR, the largest components are the propellant tanks.  To this end, my recollection is that Space X had Janicki Industries fabricate a rather large 12m  10m composite tank which they tested to destruction on a barge.  It would seem that Janicki has large tank  fabrication capabilities close to water.  If this is the case why couldn't Janicki fabricate the BFR tanks at their facility and ship them to the future Space X BFR assembly location near water in the Los Angeles area?  Under this scenario smaller BFR components, such as engines could be fabricated by Space X in Hawthorne and sent by truck to the dockside assembly location.   
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Dave G on 02/04/2018 12:30 am
In thinking about the construction of the BFR, the largest components are the propellant tanks.  To this end, my recollection is that Space X had Janicki Industries fabricate a rather large 12m  10m composite tank which they tested to destruction on a barge.  It would seem that Janicki has large tank  fabrication capabilities close to water.  If this is the case why couldn't Janicki fabricate the BFR tanks at their facility and ship them to the future Space X BFR assembly location near water in the Los Angeles area?
Yes, we speculated about this scenario up-thread, but then SpaceX's president and chief operating officer told us that they would build BFR in Los Angeles by the water.

Under this scenario smaller BFR components, such as engines could be fabricated by Space X in Hawthorne and sent by truck to the dockside assembly location.   
I believe that's true under any scenario.  Anything that can be easily road transported, i.e. without removing stop lights or utility poles, will be built in Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, etc, etc.

Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: aero on 02/04/2018 02:03 am
So "building it by the water" is really "assembling it by the water."
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/04/2018 04:17 am
Cheaper to build it in Florida or Texas.
But they don't have the aerospace workforce that LA does, and they don't like moving.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 02/04/2018 06:42 am

If the tank assembly looks anything like Janicki's  Boeing/NASA tank, then the footprint for layering up the tanks isn't much bigger than the tanks themselves.  I'm unclear how it's cured though, unless I missed it in the articles. The epoxy used on the Boeing tank still need to be heated to 177 degrees when out of autoclave.

Also, how do they manage the joins between the common bulkhead, nose cone & skirt on BFS?

Shame we didn't get to see a making of the 12m tank.  I'd give us a proper idea of how big the BFS campsite need to be.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: dcporter on 02/04/2018 06:48 am
Can we extrapolate anything based on “$2.5M not worth it” and cost estimates for an LA facility by the water in terms of a lower bound on how many of these things they plan to build in LA? I previously assumed LA would get a few early rockets at most before transitioning to on-location factories in Texas and Florida.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: catdlr on 02/04/2018 07:16 am

If the tank assembly looks anything like Janicki's  Boeing/NASA tank, then the footprint for layering up the tanks isn't much bigger than the tanks themselves.  I'm unclear how it's cured though, unless I missed it in the articles. The epoxy used on the Boeing tank still need to be heated to 177 degrees when out of autoclave.

Also, how do they manage the joins between the common bulkhead, nose cone & skirt on BFS?

Shame we didn't get to see a making of the 12m tank.  I'd give us a proper idea of how big the BFS campsite need to be.

Well, for the making of the 12m LOX test article see these for approximate building size:

Map of where tank was built: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41304.msg1608901#msg1608901

Inside of building: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41304.msg1608918#msg1608918

Outside and moving tank: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41304.msg1610383#msg1610383
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: Cheapchips on 02/04/2018 09:11 am

That's about 72m x 40m then, so not significantly bigger than what they're building on Reeves Ave. 
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: geza on 02/04/2018 04:55 pm
Look the 4th picture here:

Composites World.... (https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/nasaboeing-composite-launch-vehicle-fuel-tank-scores-firsts)

The Automated Fiber Placement robot seems to be pretty small, relative to the tank produced. Compare this with the huge friction welding equipment for SLS in Michoud:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq5xKcQff-o
The latter one had to be scaled to the size of the tank. (It is advertised as "the largest welding tools in the world are used to create the largest rocket ever assembled".)

As the main equipment producing a carbon composite tank is so small, the factory building does not have to be much larger than the size necessary to accomodate the stage itself conveniently. It means also that it will be esay to relocate the tooling to a new factory, when so desired.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: JBF on 02/04/2018 05:05 pm
Look the 4th picture here:

Composites World.... (https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/nasaboeing-composite-launch-vehicle-fuel-tank-scores-firsts)

The Automated Fiber Placement robot seems to be pretty small, relative to the tank produced. Compare this with the huge friction welding equipment for SLS in Michoud:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq5xKcQff-o
The latter one had to be scaled to the size of the tank. (It is advertised as "the largest welding tools in the world are used to create the largest rocket ever assembled".)

As the main equipment producing a carbon composite tank is so small, the factory building does not have to be much larger than the size necessary to accomodate the stage itself conveniently. It means also that it will be esay to relocate the tooling to a new factory, when so desired.

I believe you are simplifying things a little bit.  Yes the equipment needed to produce a capsule(sphere) for test purposes is pretty straightforward.  However that is a long ways from a capsule with exacting attachment points, inner bulkheads etc. that  they will need.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: guckyfan on 02/04/2018 09:20 pm
The more complex components like bulkheads, aero surfaces (wings) leg casings, maybe the nosecone, can still be produced in Hawthorne and transported to the assembly site for integration.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: JBF on 02/04/2018 11:09 pm
The more complex components like bulkheads, aero surfaces (wings) leg casings, maybe the nosecone, can still be produced in Hawthorne and transported to the assembly site for integration.

You are missing my point.  Like with the falcon 9 the tanks form an integral part of the rockets structure.  Because of that mounting hardware will have to be woven into the skin.  I don't see any other way of doing it that would not compromise the tanks integrity.
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: AncientU on 02/04/2018 11:55 pm
The more complex components like bulkheads, aero surfaces (wings) leg casings, maybe the nosecone, can still be produced in Hawthorne and transported to the assembly site for integration.

You are missing my point.  Like with the falcon 9 the tanks form an integral part of the rockets structure.  Because of that mounting hardware will have to be woven into the skin.  I don't see any other way of doing it that would not compromise the tanks integrity.

Just as the Octaweb and interstage are independent structures from the Falcon tankage, the BFR can have these external structures that are not part of the main tanks and body of the vehicle.  A polyweb will carry the engines, hold-down structure, and cradle load bearing components.  An interstage structure will carry the grid fins and avionics that live above the main tanks on the booster, along with the upper stage transfer plumbing and mating surfaces.  The spaceship will have a similar engine and plumbing section(heptaweb?), with all needed hardware for refueling, too.  The cargo/habitat sections will have to be integral with the tanks as you describe.  Within the cargo/habitat section, though, there will be many structures which can be built separately and integrated into the shell above the tanks.  And the engines themselves...
Title: Re: Where will BFR be built?
Post by: gongora on 05/07/2018 02:49 pm
I split the thread where I saw the first mention of the documentation for the new manufacturing facility in San Pedro.  New thread is: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles) (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45633.0)